Social ordering and the doctrine of free choice. The case of abjuration sub pena nubendi

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Abstract

One of the most important aspects of the marriage legislation in medieval canon law is the doctrine of free choice. According to this doctrine, established by pope Alexander III in the second half of the twelfth century, the validity of a marriage depended solely on the freely given consent of the parties. No one could legally force a couple to marry if they did not freely consent to do so.
In parallel, any kind of sexual relations outside of marriage was prohibited by Canon Law. The most common penalty for illicit sexual relations was fines. In the case of stable relationships it was also quite common that the couple was forced to abjure one another under a sum of money. An unmarried couple could, however, also be requested to abjure one another sub pena nubendi. Abjuration sub pena nubendi meant that any future intercourse, or even its suspicion, would automatically leave a couple legally married.
Abjuration sub pena nubendi developed as a means to stop illicit sexual relationships by transforming them into legal marriages. This practise was however contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of the marriage legislation in medieval Canon Law: the doctrine of free choice.
In this paper I study the conflict between the idea of marriage as solely depending on free consent and the marriage coercion imposed by abjuration sub pena nubendi.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Idé- och lärdomshistoria

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Titel på värdpublikationLaw and Power in the Middle Ages. Proceedings of the fourth Carlsberg Academy on Medieval Legal History 2007
RedaktörerPer Andersen, Mia Münster-Swendsen, Helle Vogt
FörlagDJØF Forlag
Sidor43-51
Antal sidor271
ISBN (tryckt)978-87-574-1884-2
StatusPublished - 2008
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa
EvenemangLaw and Power in the Middle Ages. Carlsberg Academy on Medieval Legal History IV - Copenhagen, Danmark
Varaktighet: 2007 maj 24 → …

Konferens

KonferensLaw and Power in the Middle Ages. Carlsberg Academy on Medieval Legal History IV
LandDanmark
Period2007/05/24 → …

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