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Water Is Thicker than BloodAn Augustinian Theology of Marriage and Singleness$
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Jana Marguerite Bennett

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315431

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315431.001.0001

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 Neither Married nor Given in Marriage

 Neither Married nor Given in Marriage

Singleness and Salvation History

(p.83) 4 Neither Married nor Given in Marriage
Water Is Thicker than Blood

Jana Marguerite Bennett

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Augustine's thoughts on singleness via salvation history. Many have held, following Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, that celibacy is the better state of life for Christians, and the state of life Christ demonstrates through his own life, death, and resurrection. Celibacy thus becomes intertwined with the salvation event of redemption. Augustine follows to a point but also counters those who would see that the simple fact of being celibate makes one holy. Augustine insists that Christian life is ultimately about virtuous living; one can cultivate those virtues whether married or celibate. Furthermore, Augustine discusses states of life such as divorce, suggesting that singleness is not just one state of life but several: widows, divorcees, celibates (monks and virgins), and the unmarried all figure. This chapter concludes by using Augustine's views to consider the false contemporary dichotomy between marriage and singleness, the second dichotomy raised in chapter 1.

Keywords:   singleness, 1 Corinthians 7, celibacy, divorce, widow, single, unmarried, monk, virgin

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