Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Doctor Lawrence Pang

Second Supervisor

Professor Peter Black


Anecdotal evidence and media discussions indicate that today formal marriage is not deemed necessary to cement a conjugal relationship. Many nominally Christian countries such as France, Germany, the U.K., Ireland and Australia have given de facto relationships the same or similar legal standing as formal marriages. In addition, the legitimacy of children born of de facto liaisons is no longer a contested issue. We are living in a time of important social change.

Similarly, the Roman world of the first century was experiencing great social change, including issues surrounding marriage and the bearing and raising of children. This investigation examines how these changes impacted an evolving Christian outlook on marriage, and conversely how Christianity impacted marriage in the pagan environment.

By researching how Christian marriage evolved during the social and political turmoil of the first century C.E. this dissertation identifies what were considered the essentials of marriage, and how they were seen to relate to the welfare of the family, and the welfare of the state.

Included in

Religion Commons