The Church of England and Divorce in the Twentieth Century: Legalism and Grace, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Church of England and Divorce in the Twentieth Century

Legalism and Grace, 1st Edition

By Ann Sumner Holmes


196 pages

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Hardback: 9781848936171
pub: 2016-10-13
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Attitudes towards divorce have changed considerably over the past two centuries. As society has moved away from a Biblical definition of marriage as an indissoluble union, to that of an individual and personal relationship, secular laws have evolved as well. Using unpublished sources and previously inaccessible private collections, Holmes explores the significant role the Church of England has played in these changes, as well as the impact this has had on ecclesiastical policies. This timely study will be relevant to ongoing debates about the meaning and nature of marriage, including the theological doctrines and ecclesiastical policies underlying current debates on same-sex marriage.


"Holmes provides a comprehensive and eminently readable account of her topic and of the tensions, as identified in her subtitle, between legalism and grace over the course of the last century. It will constitute a useful background resource of fact and commentary." - Richard Lindley, Winchester Cathedral

Table of Contents


1. The Church of England and Divorce Reform, 1900-1914

2. The Interwar Years: Church and State Diverge

3. Till Death Them Do Part: The Church and Divorce, 1945-1960

4. Putting Asunder: The Church and Divorce Reform in the 1960s

5. Remarriage in Church After Divorce: In Pursuit of Consensus

6. Remarriage in Church After Divorce: Each Case is Different

About the Author

Ann Sumner Holmes is Associate Dean of the Ogden Honors College at Louisiana State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Social History