[Milton-L] Generalizations about marriage; x-post ficino

Dan Knauss daniel.knauss at mu.edu
Tue Nov 9 14:16:03 EST 2004

Dear Listmembers--

A few questions arising from that rich source of inquiry--the broad
claims of eminent scholars who supply neither argumentative nor
citational support. References to secondary literature where this stuff
is considered in detail will be much appreciated.

1) Is it a reasonable generalization to say that "Puritans" or
"Protestants," in constrast to "Catholics," thought of an ideal marriage
as being based in companionship in some new sense, especially a more
"inward" intimacy--a "sharing of selves?"

2) Is it meaningful or accurate to say that by 1667 marriage in England
was *no longer* thought of as being inferior to celibacy? (When did
marriage become a sacrament in the Catholic church? Prior to that,
hadn't it achieved a quasi-sacramental status over a long period of

3) What basis is there for claiming that by the late 17th century--in
contradiction to the prayer book from Cranmer's to the 1662--marriage
was neither a doctrinally approved way of avoiding fornication nor an
institution centered on procreation but rather a solemnization of love
between two people? More specifically, what significant groups of people
would have thought this way?


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