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Marriage, civil
(805 words)

1. Foundations

Civil marriage refers to a form of marriage that was not based on a religious definition of marriage and was not enacted via religious ceremony. Whereas the Catholic Church saw marriage as a sacrament and the Protestant denominations saw it as symbolizing the ties between Christ and the Church (see Occasional services), civil marriage was based on the idea that marriage represented a private-law contract between two parties. It was contracted before representatives of bourgeois soci…

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Gestrich, Andreas, “Marriage, civil”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030804>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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