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John Witte Jr. is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A world-renowned expert on church and state, he is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on the subject.
"This book, by the leading scholar in the field, provides a readable and insightful exposition. In addition to addressing questions of law, religion, history, and sociology, Witte provides a spiritual meditation on what it means to be a human: a husband, wife, mother, father, or child. To believers this book will bring instruction and enlightenment; to others it will bring understanding." Michael W. McConnell, Mallery Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution "From Sacrament to Contract is a penetrating study of five conflicting models of marriage and their impact on domestic legislation and organization over the last millennium. Rarely has the interaction of religious belief, law, and marriage been so incisively illuminated. This book is a touchstone for a new intellectual history of religion." Steven Ozment, McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History, Harvard University [praise for the first edition] "This book should long be the standard reference for anyone interested in knowing how Europeans have sought to connect the personal and the public in the family life." The Christian Century [praise for the first edition] "From Sacrament to Contract is a magisterial work in the history of marriage, nuptial theology, and marriage law. John Witte is that rare combination of a first-rate legal scholar and a historical theologian." David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto "Witte provides what is unquestionably the finest history of western marriage in the Christian epoch." The Journal of Law and Religion [praise for the first edition] "From Sacrament to Contract takes the reader on a fascinating tour through the legal, philosophical, and religious ideas that have shaped and reshaped Western thinking about the relations between men and women. Concise and forward-looking, Witte's monograph makes a wise and welcome contribution to current conversations about the present and future status of marriage in our society." Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University