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Publisher's Summary

Until very recently, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partnership: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage as something other than the conjugal union of husband and wife is a mistake. 

Originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, this book’s core argument quickly became the year’s most widely read essay on the most prominent scholarly network in the social sciences. Since then, it has been cited and debated by scholars and activists throughout the world as the most formidable defense of the tradition ever written. Now revamped, expanded, and vastly enhanced, What Is Marriage? stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have. 

Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George offer a devastating critique of the idea that equality requires redefining marriage. They show why both sides must first answer the question of what marriage really is. They defend the principle that marriage, as a comprehensive union of mind and body ordered to family life, unites a man and a woman as husband and wife, and they document the social value of applying this principle in law. 

Most compellingly, they show that those who embrace same-sex civil marriage leave no firm ground - none - for not recognizing every relationship describable in polite English, including polyamorous sexual unions, and that enshrining their view would further erode the norms of marriage, and hence the common good. 

Finally, What Is Marriage? decisively answers common objections: that the historic view is rooted in bigotry, like laws forbidding interracial marriage; that it is callous to people’s needs; that it can’t show the harm of recognizing same-sex couplings or the point of recognizing infertile ones; and that it treats a mere “social construct” as if it were natural or an unreasoned religious view as if it were rational.

©2020 Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George (P)2020 Black Hills Audiobooks LLC

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Excellent analysis.

Excellent analysis of marriage, the union of a man and a woman. The question "what is marriage, and why is it a societal good, distinct from other arrangements" was fully explored and answered.

Narrator has a pleasant voice too.

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Non religious appeal to the preservation of the definition of marriage

Brilliant book that introduces thought to the idea the marriage is not a distinctly religious institution and therefore can have a defense outside of religious claims. It is not homophobic or bigoted in nature and merely serves to explain the reasoning behind society and culture’s benefit from maintaining the man and woman marriage construct. It is a defense of the definition of marriage, not on what two (or more) consenting adults do amongst themselves.