Arts & Sciences

Marquette Bookshelf: ‘Just Marriage’ 

Written by Dr. Andrew Kim, associate professor of theology

Andrew Kim

It is not difficult nowadays to find books decrying divorce and defending the Christian doctrine that marriage is a permanent union. Such a teaching by its very nature raises the problem of how to respond when marriages become destructive. The response generally given by church officials is that if grave danger is present, spouses may separate. Some denominations even allow for divorce and remarriage. This is not particularly helpful for spouses not in grave danger but nonetheless in destructive marriages, nor does it tell us anything about how to avoid destructive marriages in the first place. This book argues that just conflict in marriage can both prevent marriages from becoming destructive and be a path toward reconciliation for those who find themselves already ensconced within a destructive marriage.  

Learn more or purchase this book on Cascade Books 

Kim answered some questions about his new book, including what he hopes this book accomplishes, where the idea came from and his favorite part of the writing process. 

How would you describe the book in one sentence? 

“Just Marriage” examines avenues to peace and reconciliation in troubled marriages. 

Is this your first book? What is your publishing history? 

This is my third book. In 2015, I published “An Introduction to Catholic Ethics since Vatican II” (Cambridge University Press). In 2021, I co-authored “Just War Theory and Literary Studies.” In addition to book chapters and edited collections, I have also published original research articles in Studies in Christian Ethics, The Journal of Moral Theology, New Blackfriars, The Journal of Peace and Justice Studies, and Ecclesiology, among other venues. 

Where did the idea for this book come from? 

I had the idea for writing this book while teaching a doctoral seminar on Just War Theory. I began to wonder if the just war criteria could be translated to other domains of conflict. Inspired largely by Oliver O’Donovan’s restrictive approach to Just War Theory and Matthew Levering’s work on the topic of marriage, I began to envision the possibility of an approach to conflict in marriage aiming at reconciliation and informed by the guidelines of the just war ethic. 

What do you hope to accomplish with this book? 

I hope the book demonstrates that Just War Theory can be translated to other domains of conflict, including interpersonal domains. I hope the book will help illuminate the Christian vision of marriage and provide practical guidance for walking in the light of that vision. 

How does this book advance or complement your research and/or teaching? 

The book continues my research and teaching in theological ethics and issues having to do with relational flourishing and theological anthropology. 

What was your favorite part of the writing/editing process? 

I enjoyed trying to bring together insights from domains of moral theology that are usually treated separately without relation to one another. 

If you have recently published a book, or if you have one coming out, we would like to feature your publication in an upcoming Marquette Bookshelf feature. More information on the submission process is available online. 

Book Details 

  • Publisher: ‎ Cascade Books (June 1, 2023) 
  • Language: ‎ English 
  • Paperback: ‎ 146 pages 
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1666754366 
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1666754360