Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is and Why It Matters

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 11, 2014 - Political Science - 152 pages
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This book defends the conjugal view of marriage. Patrick Lee and Robert P. George argue that marriage is a distinctive type of community: the union of a man and a woman who have committed to sharing their lives on every level of their beings (bodily, emotionally, and spiritually) in the kind of union that would be fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together. The comprehensive nature of this union, and its intrinsic orientation to procreation as its natural fulfillment, distinguishes marriage from other types of community and provides the basis for the norms of marital exclusivity and permanence. Lee and George detail how the basic moral norms regarding sexual acts follow from the ethical requirement to respect the good of marriage and explain how the law should treat marriage, given its conjugal nature, examining both the same-sex-marriage issue and civil divorce.

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About the author (2014)

Patrick Lee is the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor of Bioethics and director of the Institute of Bioethics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Lee is the author of Abortion and Unborn Human Life (2010) and Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics with Robert P. George (Cambridge, 2007). He has served on the executive boards of the American Catholic Philosophical Association and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. His articles and review essays have appeared in the American Journal of Jurisprudence, Bioethics, Faith and Philosophy, The Monist, Philosophy, International Philosophical Quarterly, the Linacre Quarterly, the Review of Metaphysics, and American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, as well as popular journals and online magazines such as Public Discourse, New Atlantis, National Review Online, and First Things.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the US President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. He is currently chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is a former Judicial Fellow of the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. His authored publications include Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (1993); In Defense of Natural Law (1999); and What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, with Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson (2012). His articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, First Things, the Boston Review, The New Criterion, and the Times Literary Supplement.

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