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Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe

ISBN-10: 0521289254
ISBN-13: 9780521289252
Edition: 1983
List price: $72.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Around 300 A.D. European patterns of marriage and kinship were turned on their head. What had previously been the norm - marriage to close kin - became the new taboo. The same applied to adoption, the obligation of a man to marry his brother's widow  More...

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Book details

List price: $72.00
Copyright year: 1983
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 7/7/1983
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 324
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Around 300 A.D. European patterns of marriage and kinship were turned on their head. What had previously been the norm - marriage to close kin - became the new taboo. The same applied to adoption, the obligation of a man to marry his brother's widow and a number of other central practices. With these changes Christian Europe broke radically from its own past and established practices which diverged markedly from those of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In this highly original and far-reaching work Jack Goody argues that from the fourth century there developed in the northern Mediterranean a distinctive but not undifferentiated kinship system, whose growth can be attributed to the role of the Church in acquiring property formerly held by domestic groups. He suggests that the early Church, faced with the need to provide for people who had left their kin to devote themselves to the life of the Church, regulated the rules of marriage so that wealth could be channelled away from the family and into the Church. Thus the Church became an 'interitor', acquiring vast tracts of property through the alienation of familial rights. At the same time, the structure of domestic life was changed dramatically, the Church placing more emphasis on individual wishes, on conjugality, and on spiritual rather than natural kinship. Tracing the consequences of this change through to the present day, Jack Goody challenges some fundamental assumptions about the making of western society, and provides an alternative focus for future study of the European family, kinship structures and marriage patterns. The questions he raises will provoke much interest and discussion amongst anthropologists, sociologists and historians.

CRIS BEAM is a journalist who has written for several national magazines as well as for public radio. She has an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University and teaches creative writing at Columbia and the New School. She lives in New York.Lyndal Roper is professor of history at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Balliol College.

List of figures, maps and tables
Preface
Perspectives
Two sides to the Mediterranean
Change in the German lands
Cousins and widows, adoptees and concubines
From sect to Church
Church, land and family in the West
Reformation and reform
The hidden economy of kinship
The spiritual and the natural
Appendix
Kin groups: clans, lineages and lignages
From brideprice to dowry?
'Bilaterality' and the development of English kin terminology
References and bibliography
Glossary
Index

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