[Milton-L] Generalizations about marriage; x-post ficino
daniel.knauss at mu.edu
Tue Nov 9 22:59:28 EST 2004
I'm not generalizing beyond the obvious that there are public
orthodoxies and private alternatives--or "heresies." The historical I
originally posted were--as I stated then--not mine, and I find them
spurious. However, they have some truth to them--ideas and practices
change and so they seem to have done in the Reformation. How, how much,
for whom and why? That is what I am asking, and I have not put forth
On what you're saying here, I am not sure what your point is. You keep
reciting the Paul/Alisoun bit as if you think I believe that 1) the
church unambiguously taught that celibacy was better than marriage; 2)
people believed this without question; 3) people practiced what they
believe. I started off asking how valid #1 is, and I do think that the
official line carried some weight or it would not have existed so long,
but never did I imply that the official line is accepted universally
without question. #3 is rarely true in every age. People probably lived
then, as they do now, with unenforceable laws and bizarre
doctrines--which probably seemed far less bizarre to them.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Dr.
> Carol Barton
> Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 10:36 PM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Generalizations about marriage; x-post ficino
> That's not the point, Dan. In Chaucer's time, there were
> ordinances that approved marital sex only on specific dates
> -- the fact that such laws existed doesn't mean they were
> enforced -- or enforceable. (Imagine being the constable in
> charge of ensuring public adherence.)
> If everyone followed Paul's advice, and practiced celibacy,
> there would soon be no one to engage in it.
> Alisoun was not joking, and neither am I.
> I don't think you can generalize about sex in marriage in
> either direction -- especially in the period to which you are
> referring. If you do, I'd like to see your evidence for the
> contention that most people adhered to such rules -- in
> Chaucer's time, or Milton's time, or anyone else's.
> Best to all,
> Carol Barton
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