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Title: The Rise of Marital Spirituality
Author(s): SANDOR, Monica
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 10    Issue: 2   Date: Autumn 2004   
Pages: 153-176
DOI: 10.2143/INT.10.2.2002920

Abstract :
The field of marital spirituality is relatively new, even though considerations of spirituality by married people and of the religious dimension of marriage are not. Scholars of the nascent field of Christian marital spirituality point to the 1930s as the period when a more conscious focus on the distinct spirituality of marriage appears in pastoral and theological literature, sermons, and handbooks for the laity and is manifested in groups, lay associations, and programs specifically for married couples. It is paradoxical that marital spirituality has come to the fore in an era that has seen both a fundamental challenge to and shift in the nature and understanding of marriage (indeed some speak of a crisis in marriage) and an unprecedented growth of interest in and writing on spirituality, especially on the experiential spirituality of everyday life. It is the interaction of these two forces that help explain the rise of marital spirituality. This article is the first fruit of a project undertaken by INTAMS surveying the state of the field of Christian marital spirituality both as a lived reality in the churches and as a subject of scholarly study. It traces developments within spirituality, theology, and related domains concerned with the nature of the spiritual life, the vocation of lay Christians, and the religious dimensions of marriage, love, and human relationships that have made it possible for marital spirituality to emerge as a topic in its own right at this moment in history.

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