Monday, September 17, 2007

On Love and Metaphysics

Some time ago I began worrying about the way standard Catholic teaching on the subject of sex and marriage is being presented. It seemed to me both less profound and less effective than what was current when I was courting and when I was first married. Concerns of this kind are not unusual among people my age, so I might have written this one off as mere curmudgeonliness. But before doing so, I decided to see if I could retrieve some of the material that I remembered from the old days, and compare it with some comparable material that is current today. This essay is the result. In putting it together, I have worked with two or three books from each period, without making any attempt at exhaustive research. While I am an academic, and have worked with theological material on occasion, I am here well out of my field. My perspective on this particular aspect of Church teaching is that of a consumer.

The two elements I remembered from the earlier teaching were a solid body of practical advice on the maintenance of sexual purity by the unmarried, and a developing body of somewhat cutting-edge reflections on love, marriage, and the unitive power of sex. In the first category, I took a pamphlet called The Difficult Commandment — Notes on Self-Control Especially for Young Men by C.C. Martindale, S.J.1 In the second category, I took Marriage2 and Man and Woman3 by Dietrich von Hildebrand, and pieces of The Allegory of Love4 and The Four5 by C.S. Lewis.

Martindale's is the kind of pamphlet that used to be sold from racks in the backs of churches. It is very simple and straightforward. It is addressed to young unmarried men who are believing Catholics, and who would like to live chastely as the Church calls them to, but who experience difficulties in doing so. It is not at all polemical or apologetic. It offers a few considerations to strengthen the reader's good resolutions, or to dispel various rationalizations, but it does not attempt to present systematic arguments in support of church teaching or to explain why people who are not chaste ought to be. It is not at all repressive. It would not have you resist sexual temptations by pretending sex is not pleasurable any more than you resist the temptation to steal groceries by pretending not to like food.6 And it is not at all judgmental. It simply assumes that if you have not sinned you want to go on not sinning, and that if you have been sinning you want to stop. It provides the same firm, quiet encouragement in either case.

Martindale treats homosexuals in the same way as he does everyone else. A temptation is a temptation. There are no doubt reasons why some people are tempted by their own sex, but the reasons are irretrievably obscure: "In the abstract such a temptation may be as unnatural and perverse as you please; but in the concrete it cannot but exist."7 So he tells the homosexual merely to "control your special temptation just as other men have to control their straightforward ones."8

Central to Martindale's strategy for controlling temptations of whatever kind are three sections of his pamphlet entitled "Thoughts," "Words," and "Deeds," with the first underpinning the other two. As he says, "The root of the whole matter is the mind."9 But thoughts are constantly coming to us unbidden. The trick as regards thoughts of illicit sex is not to accept them, dwell on them, take pleasure in them. On the other hand, you cannot simply will them away: "The more I tell myself not to think about a thing, the more, obviously, I am thinking about it."10 The way to get rid of the thought is to think about something else. Martindale suggests, for example, "composing a cricket eleven of the eleven fattest men you know."11 But anything will do.

The concern throughout is not with any kind of psychological explanation of thoughts and feelings, but with a rational ordering of thoughts and feelings that more or less randomly arise. There are situations where you can cut them off at the source, but you will never be able to cut them all off. You have to know what to do about them when they appear.12 If there is nothing legitimate for you to do with them, you call on the team of fat cricketers to drive them away. This is very traditional Catholic teaching. St. Benedict, writing in the five hundreds, uses a metaphor drawn from one of the more bloodthirsty psalms to tell his monks to take hold of their thoughts while they (the thoughts) are still young and dash them against Christ.13

Among the motives Martindale offers for living chastely, he devotes no more than a sentence to the sacrament for which most of his readers are headed:

You are right in having a high ideal of the girl you hope to marry, and of the most beautiful thing that Love is, or can be, and of the true union of lives and hearts that a perfect married life should imply.14

Having said this much, he immediately turns to broader forms of unity and love, the family, the community, the Eucharist.

We can think of von Hildebrand as taking up where Martindale leaves off. The true union of lives and hearts is his whole subject. He sees it as the divinely ordained response to the complementarity of male and female. For him, the difference between the sexes is metaphysical — not reducible to the biological or to the social or to any combination of the two. Man and woman, he says, "are two different expressions of human nature."15

It is . . . important to see that this difference has a specifically complementary character. Man and woman are spiritually oriented toward each other; they are created for each other. First, they have a mission for each other; second, because of their complementary difference, a much closer communion and more ultimate love is possible between them than between persons of the same sex.16

Sexual intercourse tends to establish and reinforce a permanent bond between two individuals embodying this complementarity. In Christian moral teaching, it is reserved for such an effect.

Thus, instead of saying that the sinful satisfaction of sexual desire becomes legitimate through marriage we should say that the sexual act, because it is destined to be the consummation of this sublime union and fulfillment of spousal love, becomes sinful when desecrated by isolation.17

The bonding effect seems to be inherent in the act. St. Paul refers to it when he tells the Corinthians that a man who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her.18 If a sexual encounter is to be ephemeral, the effect must be evaded or suppressed, and the evasion or suppression is part of the destructiveness of the ephemeral encounter. By the same token, if the bond is not evaded or suppressed, it will arise. That accounts for the success of arranged marriages in some cultures, where the spouses may be scarcely acquainted before the wedding.

Von Hildebrand does not specifically address the subject of homosexuality. But he provides an effective rationale for Catholic teaching on the subject. The complementarity that is central to his doctrine can exist only between a man and a woman because it instantiates the metaphysical complementarity of male and female as constituent forces in the universe. Accordingly, homosexual acts are morally objectionable not because they are unprocreative or otherwise biologically inappropriate, but because sexual acts are reserved for a kind of love that is metaphysically incapable of arising between persons of the same sex.

Unfortunately, when he comes to be specific about the difference between the sexes, von Hildebrand (like a good many other authors) falls into gender stereotypes, all of them questionable, some of them offensive. But he does not rest his case on any of them. The difference between men and women is metaphysical, not social: it does not depend on any particular distribution of social roles or attitudes. Men and women take sufficient account of it simply by being themselves:

Man and woman both must simply strive for the right and the God-willed, and . . . the difference between the sexes, in fact, becomes quite distinct all by itself.19

Von Hildebrand's doctrines were, as I say, a bit cutting edge when he wrote. They were widely — but far from universally — accepted by courting and newly married Catholics in the days when my wife and I were among them. Their heavy emphasis on love and unity tended to undermine a prevailing official view that procreation was the "primary end" of marriage, the unitive end being secondary. This hierarchy of ends had been affirmed as recently as 1930 in Pius XI's Encyclical Casti Connubii.20 Although it was beginning to be contested, and was to be pretty well laid to rest in the Second Vatican Council,21 von Hildebrand did not try to meet it head-on. In one of his books, he distinguished between the primary end and the primary meaning.22 In another, he distinguished between an "instrumental" end and a "superabundant" end.23 Either way, he managed to maintain his own claims about the spiritual and metaphysical significance of marital union without directly confronting the Magisterium.

What he did confront directly was the claim, which he encountered in various forms among the Catholic writers of his day, that the love of man and wife is in some way reducible to common friendship plus sex.

And here, let us be frank, we touch on a kind of scandal in Catholic writings on marriage. In them, one finds much discussion of the will of the flesh, the remedy for concupiscence, mutual help and assistance, and procreation; but one hears very little of love . . .24

Recently, a famous Christian philosopher in this country even went so far as to claim that this type of love is nothing but a disguised sex instinct, and that only insofar as agape exists between the spouses does their relationship deserve to be called authentic love. Most authors, however, ignore the existence of this love entirely, simply omitting it when speaking of marriage.25

Whoever the famous philosopher is, von Hildebrand meets his claim head-on:

A combination of friendship and sensuality is repugnant. It would be a juxtaposition of heterogeneous elements, and the sensual sphere would in no way be sanctified by a discordant combination of this kind. Only in conjugal love . . . does this relation to the sensual sphere become intelligible.26

Even a friendship that takes full account of gender differences is for von Hildebrand radically different from the love that is fulfilled in marriage. Men and women are meant to be friends because they have a mission to one another: an adequate view of what the world is must incorporate both kinds of experience. That friendship may rest on the same metaphysical complementarity that supports conjugal love, but it is still a very different kind of affection.27

Where von Hildebrand presents a philosophical and theological approach to conjugal love, C.S. Lewis's approach is literary. In The Allegory of Love, he traces the romantic ideal from the twelfth century Provencal poets, who believed it was inconsistent with marriage, through Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1589), which taught that it could be fulfilled only in marriage. In The Four Loves, he explores different forms of love that appear in the culture and the literature, with one chapter on a form that he calls Eros: "that state which we call 'being in love'; or, if you prefer, that kind of love which lovers are 'in.'"28 His conception of Eros in the one book corresponds pretty well with his conception of romantic love in the other.

Lewis's tracing of the literary tradition is specialized work, and not universally accepted. My wife, who has worked in the field, is skeptical. But whatever you think of Lewis's analysis, his conclusion is right. The conventions of medieval courtly love did in fact become the conventions of honorable courtship.29 You can find them in Shakespeare, in Jane Austen, in Henry James, or in any movie that came out while the Production Code was in force.

They have added two important elements to our understanding of the subject. One is a perception of courtship as a process of moral and spiritual growth. Lovers learn to pursue their object by striving to become worthy of it. In this way, love and marriage can play a major part in a general Christian spirituality.

The other element is a conceptual separation of the erotic — the unique attraction that draws lovers to one another; what Lewis calls Eros — from the merely physical. The courtly love tradition was not platonic, but it did recognize the possibility, and in some cases the necessity, of loving without any serious hope of a bodily consummation. That recognition is part of what the tradition contributed to the romanticism of later times. While the courting couples of the twentieth century generally expected to marry in due course and consummate their marriage in the usual way, they had generations of sighing courtiers to remind them that their feelings for one another were not reducible to the desire for sex, or even defined by it. Lewis, in his analysis of Eros, makes the point this way:

There may be those who have first felt mere sexual appetite for a woman and then gone on at a later stage to "fall in love with her." But I doubt if this is at all common. Very often what comes first is simply a delighted pre-occupation with the Beloved — a general, unspecified pre-occupation with her in her totality. A man in this state really hasn't leisure to think of sex. He is too busy thinking of a person . . . And when at a later state the explicitly sexual element awakes, he will not feel . . . that this had all along been the root of the whole matter.

In fact, what Lewis calls Eros leads occasionally not to sex or marriage, but to the religious life. In the story of St. Pelagia the Harlot in the Vitae Patrum,30 it is surely an erotic affinity that unites the bishop Nonnos, who is shamed by Pelagia because she works so much harder to please men than he does to please God, and Pelagia, whose appetite for pleasure is overwhelmed by the bishop's preaching. And the story of St. Francis giving St. Clare her habit and cutting off her hair31 seems to me as happily erotic as any story I know.

Taken in combination, the works I have been describing and others like them made an attractive synthesis. For those whose vocation was to Christian marriage, that synthesis provided an effective combination of moral, spiritual, and emotional support. It gave them a tradition and a language through which they could form and express powerful emotional attachments, and expect to become better and wiser people by doing so. It allowed them to integrate their lives as courting couples into their lives as Christians, to bring their love for one another before God, and to receive the sacraments together. It taught them to focus their thoughts and feelings on the marital union for which they were preparing, and to situate their physical attraction for one another within that focus. It laid the foundation, I believe, for a particularly smooth transition from courtship into marriage.

With this synthesis in mind, I will try to pin down my misgivings about current teaching. I will concentrate on two books; Pope John Paul II's The Theology of the Body32 and Germain Grisez's Leading a Christian Life.33 The pope's book, aside from three encyclicals appended, consists of a series of "general audiences" between September, 1979 and November, 1984. The audiences read like short sermons — two or three pages each. But they are not freestanding: they come together to form a coherent doctrine. Together they give an attractive and sophisticated account of love and marriage with a heavy reliance on Scripture for support. Grisez's book is an ambitious compendium of moral doctrine. It has a chapter on "Marriage, Sexual Acts, and Family Life," in which the author gives a coherent and tightly reasoned account of traditional doctrine.34

What I find lacking in both these works is the vision— central to the earlier works — of a love between a man and a woman that is ennobling, that elicits an aspiration to increased worthiness, and that is not reducible to a desire for sex. Neither author adequately distinguishes this love from friendship on the one hand and sexual desire on the other. Grisez, if I read him correctly, thinks of the "erotic" (and the "romantic", which he seems to regard as about the same thing) as primarily directed to a sexual consummation, and only secondarily to a union of minds and hearts.35 He says in a footnote that Lewis's treatment of Eros "too sharply distinguishes it from its nucleus of sexual instinct."36 Seeing erotic love as he does, Grisez calls for suppressing it where marriage is not an immediate prospect. On the other hand, "Couples considering marriage . . . may and should express and elicit erotic affection . . ."37 But they must "limit such activity to what is necessary for its legitimate purpose and firmly commit themselves to blocking the natural dynamism of the erotic process."38 When the couple marry, erotic love subsumes the bonding effect to which I referred earlier.39

For Grisez, in other words, any erotic or romantic affection is inseparably connected with the desire for physical sex. If one's vocation is to marry, one cannot seek to be rid of such affection, but one cannot give it full scope until one is actually married. One has to hang onto it while keeping it under rigorous control, and release it a little bit at a time as courtship progresses toward marriage.

John Paul sees "erotic" and "eros" as terms with multiple meanings:

According to Plato, eros represents the interior force that drags man toward everything good, true, and beautiful . . . In the common meaning, on the contrary — as also in literature — this attraction seems to be first and foremost of a sensual nature.40

Meditating on the words in the Sermon on the Mount about adultery in the heart, the pope calls for an integration of eros and ethos, the erotic and the ethical:

It is necessary to rediscover continually in what is erotic the nuptial meaning of the body and the true meaning of the gift. This is the role of the human spirit, a role of an ethical nature. If it does not assume this role, the attraction of the senses and the passion of the body may stop at mere lust devoid of ethical value. Then man, male and female, does not experience that fullness of eros, which means the aspiration of the human spirit toward what is true, good and beautiful, so that what is erotic also becomes true, good and beautiful. Therefore it is indispensable that ethos should become the constituent form of eros.41

The reference to the "nuptial meaning of the body" is developed further in meditations on the first chapters of Genesis42 and on the Song of Songs.43

John Paul seems to see Eros in two senses, which we can call Eros[1] and Eros[2]. Eros[1] is the platonic turning toward what is good, true, and beautiful. It may include the aspiration to marital union and its physical expression, but it is not specifically sexual at all. Eros[2], on the other hand, is inseparable from sexual desire, indeed, from lust. It must be transformed so that it will not "stop at mere lust," but will be conformed to Eros[1], and to the nuptial meaning of the body. By using the word "stop," the pope seems to imply that love between man and woman begins as mere lust and has to be transformed into something better.

Grisez presents a good, honest, comprehensive, and well-reasoned statement of moral doctrine, and John Paul presents a profound and moving Scripture-based spirituality of love and marriage. But I am convinced that when it comes to ethos and eros they have things backward. The primordial attraction between male and female is not a mere physical instinct that has to be limited to its proper place or it will be an occasion of sin, or that has to be controlled so it will not stop at mere lust. I grant that it can be corrupted into mere lust, but, as Lewis points out in the passage quoted above, few who have experienced it will say that it starts that way. There is a poem by George Meredith, "Love in the Valley," which, I think, makes the point I have in mind:

Brave is her shape, and sweeter unposses'd. Sweeter, for she is what my heart first awaking Whisper'd the world was; morning light is she. Love that so desires would fain keep her changeless; Fain fling the net, and fain have her free.44

My claim here is that the metaphysical is prior to the physical — that romantic or erotic attraction arises from a fundamental intuition of the metaphysical complementarity of male and female, and of one's own incompleteness in the face of that complementarity. To fall in love is to experience the embodiment of that intuition in a particular person. Sexual desire is a result of that experience, not the source of it. This metaphysical priority is what I find central to the earlier material I have been discussing, and lacking in the later.

This displacement of the metaphysical has seriously undercut the social support of honorable courtship. Professors Amy and Leon Kass, introducing a book of readings on the subject, say:

The very terms — "wooing," "courting," "suitor" — are archaic; and if the words barely exist, it is because the phenomena have all but disappeared. Today, there are no socially prescribed forms of conduct that help guide young men and women in the direction of matrimony . . . Even — indeed, especially — the elite, those who in previous generations would have defined the conventions in these matters, lack a cultural script whose denouement is marriage.45

Such a cultural script presupposes in some way the metaphysical intuition I have described. Without that intuition, there is no place for an emotional attachment that is at once fully chaste, fully and erotically focused on the beloved, and sufficiently intense to sustain the lover through the vicissitudes of an arduous courtship. Setting out to win the heart and hand of the person one has fallen in love with is a major Christian ascesis, and neither Grisez nor John Paul provides it with the metaphysical foundation it requires.

I believe that the same displacement of the metaphysical has brought on a general confusion in our society regarding what is and is not sexual. Eros is no longer effectively distinguished from common friendship on the one hand and physical desire on the other. Instead of Lewis's specific state of being "in love," it becomes a vague mist floating over a person's whole affective life. Groping in this mist, it is especially easy for people to mistake their own or others' feelings.

The danger cuts two ways. On the one hand, if one is not aware of the erotic as a metaphysical category, one may fail to notice it as a temptation unless it is accompanied by an explicit desire for physical sex. As the erotic attraction is both intense and exclusive, it can undermine a marriage even when it is not explicitly adulterous. In an environment where men and women are thrown together in many different ways, one may be caught unaware by it if one is not on one's guard against it. The consequences may be serious for everyone involved.

The opposite danger lies in supposing that profound feelings for another person are sexual, when in fact they are only profound. For instance, Martin Seymour-Smith, in a comprehensive and thoughtful biography of Rudyard Kipling,46 treats him as a homosexual even though there is no evidence that he ever had or desired to have physical relations with any other man. The conclusion is based almost entirely on the character and intensity of male friendships in Kipling's life and in his writing. Perhaps there is no great harm in biographical speculations of this kind — they are not rare — but if people engage in similar speculations about their own sexuality, they will be in danger either of avoiding deep friendship lest they appear homosexual or of believing themselves to be homosexual on account of their deep friendships. If the erotic is cut loose from its dependence on the metaphysical duality of male and female, there is no adequate protection against such thinking.

The separation of the erotic from the metaphysical seems to me also to have a lot to do with the disappearance from the backs of churches of Fr. Martindale's good, practical advice on how to be chaste. While Martindale does not pay a lot of attention to the metaphysical attraction between the sexes, he does include the prospect of marriage among the significant motives for living chastely. That being the case, Eros can be seen as a rational ordering of a person's sexuality toward its metaphysical complement, and being in love will enhance one's commitment to chastity rather than undermining it. Unchaste thoughts, feelings, and desires, therefore, are radically false to the central reality of love, and we are never more true to that reality than when we summon Martindale's fat cricketers to drive them off.

For Grisez and for the Pope, by contrast, there is no metaphysical, non-physical erotic attraction between the sexes. The sentiment that develops into conjugal love and the sentiment that becomes an occasion of sin are for these authors one and the same. Accordingly, where the earlier synthesis pointed to two distinct sets of thoughts and feelings, one to be encouraged as leading to nobility of thought and action, and, through such nobility, to Christian marriage; the other to be resisted by thinking about something else; the best of today's writers on the subject are pointing to a unified set of thoughts and feelings, to be partly but not wholly checked according to Grisez, or to be sorted out and transformed according to John Paul.

The checking or sorting out requires a level of introspection that Martindale would have wanted to spare us. It is generally self-defeating. As Martindale was aware, if you examine your mind to determine whether it is thinking the wrong kind of thoughts, you will probably find that it is. We are still taught to control our thoughts by simply thinking about something else, but we are no longer offered a metaphysical basis for doing so. The difference between acceptable and unacceptable thoughts has become too subtle for that. Instead, we are reduced to looking into our minds to see what is going on there, and hoping without too much confidence that we will approve of what we see.

What seemed to me a particularly poignant example of this move toward introspection appeared a year or so ago in a 60 Minutes program on homosexuals. Among the people interviewed was a young man who had tried, indeed tried desperately, to overcome his homosexual inclination by a combination of prayer and will power — and even at one point an exorcism — and had finally given up. The one thing he did not try was overcoming temptation by thinking about something else. All the time he was trying to resist his sexual thoughts and feelings, he was focusing on them almost to the point of obsession. Granted, many people will say that it is impossible for homosexuals to change, whatever they do. Still, if the man was going to try, it is too bad that no one exposed him to the one way of doing it that might have worked. I believe that heterosexuals who aspire to live chastely these days are often shortchanged in the same way.

This brings me to the end of these reflections on how things are worse now than they were when I was young. I said at the outset that my perspective on Catholic moral teaching is that of a consumer. I probably sound like the kind of consumer who makes a fuss when his grocery store stops carrying his favorite breakfast food. Fair enough, but I still believe that the moral teaching I grew up on is better than what is on the shelves today. You can find it if you go looking for it, and see for yourself. Try it. Read von Hildebrand. Read Fr. Martindale's pamphlet if your library has it, and try to follow his advice. Read Jane Austen. Read "Love in the Valley." Read "How We Met" stories in Ann Landers columns. Watch old movies. If you can honorably do so, fall in love.


1 C. C. Martindale, The Difficult Commandment, rev. ed. (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1937).

2 Dietrich von Hildebrand, Marriage — The Mystery of Faithful Love, rev. ed. (Manchester, N.H.: Sophia Inst. Press, 1984). The original edition in English was published by Longmans, Green & Co. in 1942.

3 Dietrich von Hildebrand, Man and Woman (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1966). A revised edition (Manchester. N.H.: Sophia Inst. Press, 1992) makes minor, but felicitous, changes in some of the wording, so that is the edition I have quoted. Citations are to the 1966 edition, followed by citations to the 1992 edition in parentheses.

4 C.S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love (London: Oxford U. Press, 1936).

5 C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1960), 131-160.

6 Martindale, 22.

7 Ibid., 72.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid., 27.

10 Ibid., 25.

11 Ibid., 26.

12 Ibid., 23.

13 St. Benedict, Rule, Prologue. Cf. Psalm 137 (136):9.

14 Martindale, 68.

15 Man and Woman, 14 (37).

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid., 90 (56).

18 1 Cor. 6:16

19 Man and Woman, 61 (87).

20 Pius XI, Casti Connubii (1930), especially #11 and #54.

21 See especially Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, #50.

22 Marriage, 20

23 Man and Woman, 94 (62).

24 Ibid., 79 (33).

25 Ibid., 86 (51).

26 Marriage, 15.

27 Man and Woman, 58-74 (83-100).

28 The Four Loves, 131.

29 The Allegory of Love, 360: "In the history of sentiment [Spenser] is the greatest among the founders of that romantic conception of marriage which is the basis of all our love literature from Shakespeare to Meredith."

30 James the Deacon, "The Life of Saint Pelagia the Harlot" in The Desert Fathers, ed. and trans. Helen Waddell (Ann Arbor: U. Mich. Press, 1957), 177-188.

31 "The Versified Life of the Virgin Clare of Assisi" lines 228-299, in Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, ed. Regis J. Armstrong (St. Bonaventure, N.Y: Franciscan Inst. Pub., 1993), 194-97.

32 John Paul II, The Theology of the Body (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1997).

33 Germain Grisez, Living a Christian Life (Quincy, Ill.: Franciscan Press 1993).

34 Ibid., 553-752.

35 Ibid., 429. He recognizes a broader sense of the erotic, applicable to all affection for others, and therefore to be distinguished from the romantic, but in his treatment of preparation for marriage, ibid., 737-52, he seems to use the two terms interchangeably.

36 Ibid., 429n.

37 Ibid., 746.

38 Ibid.

39 Id., 634.

40 The Theology of the Body, 169. "Drags" would seem to be either a misprint or a mistranslation. The word should probably be "draws."

41 Id., 171.

42 Id., 25-102.

43 Id., 103-88.

44 George Meredith, Love in the Valley, Stanza 6.

45 Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass, Introduction to Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar (Notre Dame, Ind.: U.N.D. Press, 2000), 2.

46 Martin Seymour-Smith, Rudyard Kipling (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989).

Professor Robert E. Rodes, Jr., is Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Legal Ethics at the Notre Dame Law School. He has written extensively on the relation between law and theology. His most recent book is Pilgrim Law (1998). His wife, Jeanne, to whom he owes his interest in the subject of this article, holds a Master's degree in Comparative Literature, and teaches English at St. Mary's College. They have been married since 1953, and have seven grown children and four grandchildren.

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