The question of matrimony is one of perennial relevance, perhaps more than some more obtuse points of theological nicety, because of its tangible effect in lives of spouses, families, and vulnerable children. And yet, this question remains a source of impassioned conversations for Christians when approaching it from opposite angles and even theologies. There are a few typical schools of thought commonly adopted when discussing anything to do with the topic, but a surprisingly small focus has been allotted to the Anglican theology of marriage, as expounded in Bunnius (and others, forthcoming). And yet, this overlooked framework potentially carries the depth and nuance that are missing in other conversations, with a fresh perspective that is entirely distinct from some of the other views paramount in the Christian world today.
In this ground-breaking work, Edmund Bunnius steps into debate around matrimony which swirled in his day, in circumstances not unlike today. He had spent his life in a social context when various previously-settled questions in theology became reopened again, and one of them was the indissolubility of Matrimony. Among some Roman Catholics and Reformation thinkers, the social pressures, increased rationalism, and particular views of the Church and State had created a new pressure to re-formulate the family structure into a far more malleable social institution, than it had been to that point.
While some theologians rushed into the opening, others like Edmund Bunnius sought to buttress the traditional family, by reasserting the indissolubility of marriage with new supports and defenses. In perhaps one of the most virtuoso performances of the Reformation, Bunnius illustrates how Matrimony might be said to be indissoluble from the data of Scripture alone. He strenuously engages with some of the most famous Roman Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran theologians of his era, from Erasmus, to Calvin, Beza, and Martin Chemnitz, offering criticisms to their alterations in theology, and meticulously constructing a case for entirely indissoluble Matrimony on the bases of the Old and the New Testaments. This tour de force may be found here: