The Future of Christian Marriage

Professor Mark Regnerus discusses his new book, “The Future of Christian Marriage” and details how marriage has become less of a foundation for a couple to build upon and more of a capstone.


Marriage has come a long way since biblical times: Women are no longer thought of as property, and practices like polygamy have long been rejected. The world is wealthier and healthier, and people are more able to find and form relationships than ever. So why are Christian congregations doing more burying than marrying today? Explanations for the wide recession in marriage range from the mathematical—more women in church than men—to the economic, and from cheap sex to progressive politics. But perhaps marriage hasn’t really changed at all; instead, there is simply less interest in marriage in an era marked by technology, gender equality, and secularization. This is a book about how today’s Christians find a mate within a faith that esteems marriage but a world that increasingly yawns at it, and it draws on in-depth interviews with nearly two hundred young adult Christians from the United States, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Russia, Lebanon, and Nigeria, in order to understand the state of matrimony in global Christian circles today. Christians are exhibiting flexibility over sex roles but are hardly gender revolutionaries. Meeting increasingly high expectations of marriage is difficult, though, in a free market whose logic reaches deep into the home today, and the results are endemic uncertainty, slowing relationship maturation, and stalling marriage. But plenty of Christians innovate, resist, and wed, suggesting the future of marriage will be a religious one.

About the Speaker

Mark Regnerus is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and a senior fellow and co-founder of the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

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Posted on January 15, 2021

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