From Sacrament to Contract

John Witte, Jr., From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (1997).

“At one level, From Sacrament to Contract is a report of five richly developed conceptual constructs: marriage as sacrament in the Catholic tradition, as social estate in the Lutheran reformation, as covenant in the Calvinist tradition, as commonwealth in the Anglican tradition, and as contract in the inheritance of the Enlightenment. . . . But Witte has done more than equip his readers to continue ‘the endless Western dialogue’ on marriage, in the sense of being able to understand something of what has been said and politely to say it again. . . . . Professor Witte's wonderful book responds to what he argues is a crisis--the disintegration and marginalization of the West's store of wisdom about marriage and family, indeed the virtual cessation, except at the margins, of a genuine dialogue about marriage's and family's goods and goals and the means of their realization.”

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