Part 1

Your mission: 

Understand the way the idea and practice of marriage has developed.

Your tasks:

  1. Extract from the following resources an understanding of how marriage has developed and what some of the key factors are in different cultural and historical contexts.
  2. Answer the question: how have we arrived at our 20th century western understanding of what marriage is, and in what way do other cultural representations of marriage also reflect a Biblical view?
    You will need to draw on understanding you have gained about the Theology of marriage and Bowen’s family systems.
  3. Exercise: Write a short paper (max 2 pages A4 – upload at the bottom of this page) summarising your thinking.

Resource material

(choose approximately 3 – 4 hours of material to read or watch):

  1. What is marriage today?
    contains 3 videos and a pdf
Theories about marriage and family. 11 minute video

Muslim and Christian marriage culture. 20 minute video

Scott Stanley , sliding vs deciding (the development of cohabitation) 1h video*

* Recommended video if you have not seen it already

  1. Historical development of marriage

The history of marriage 5 minute video
  • Historical and Christian roots of marriage – website article:

  1. Marriage in Jewish society.

The Jewish wedding 30 minute video

Love and marriage in Orthodox Jewish communities

  1. How the church has viewed marriage and sexuality.

Sex and the Church, BBC 1h – Recommended, an unusual historical perspective of the church’s view of sex
The Church and marriage, BBC 1h