John Duns Scotus on Marriage
My project will explore the nature of the sacrament of marriage, within the context of Scotus’ doctrine of the ordo intentionis, or ‘order of intention’. According to Scotus, God works to bring His creatures into community with Himself for the sake of bringing glory to His Son, with God freely creating an ordered means for His creatures to do so through the moral law and the sacraments, which He is free to change.
My project will explore how marriage fits into this system, in light of contemporary discussions around Scotus’ sacramental theology. Whilst interesting work has been done by both Adams and Ingham on Scotus’ sacramental theology, this work has primarily focused on Scotus’ novel account of transubstantiation. Scotus’ marital theology is commonly mentioned in passing in discussions of his account of the moral law, which – famously – he claims that God can change; at various places in the Bible, polygamy and divorce have been both permitted and forbidden. I will seek to establish the principles according to which these changes are justified.
My project will also touch on contemporary Anglican discussions of marriage, particularly in light of the Living in Love and Faith discussions, which is contemporaneous with my project.