October 3, 2021

Now online: “On Retention of ‘Obey’ in the Marriage Service” (1915)

J. Wickham Legg, On Retention of the Word ‘Obey’ in the Marriage Service (1915)

This important historic artifact perfectly captures the tumultuous changes which swept over the Church of England in the early 20th century. Traditionalists in the Church looked on as new forces such as feminism, egalitarianism, and others began to come in, and gather adherents who adopted new opinions about previously-established doctrines. The author intended this text as a message in a bottle, to inform future generations and other provinces, about what the traditional Church of England doctrines were before they had been swept away.

In a real tour-de-force he takes the entire history of Christianity as his aim, to answer the question: how have all Christians thought of men and women, the equality or inequality of the sexes, and the same or different duties in marriage. How did Christians view these things? It’s a fascinating question, with almost no good answers offered today. He aims to provide perhaps the most detailed answer ever given on this question, citing hundreds of arcane texts, marriage rites, liturgies, and family customs, in the entire Christian world from Armenia to Ethiopia and Switzerland. The impact of the breadth of Christian history is truly breathtaking. Enjoy!