Casmir C. Onyegwara
for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
2:30p.m., Caldwell Hall, Room 125
“be fruitful and multiply”: catholic teaching on the ends of marriage with reference to questions posed by igbo culture
Director: John Grabowski, Ph.D.
The institution of marriage is as old as the human race itself. While almost every society engages in marrying, opinions are divided among scholars, cultures, and religions with regard to the purposes of marriage. One of the reasons for this divergence is because each scholar, culture or religion defines marriage by paying particular attention to the values and purposes it attaches to it. The Igbo Ethnic group of Nigeria and the Catholic Church are examples of a culture and a religion that define the purposes of marriage by paying special attention to their cultural values and religious heritage. Thus, while the Igbo culture sees children (particularly male children) as the primary purpose of marriage, scholars debate whether the Catholic Church which held this primacy of children for more than twenty centuries(even if not specifically male children as the Igbo do) currently sees procreation as the primary purpose of marriage. The reason for the lack of consensus among current scholars (such as William E. May and Theodore Mackin) can be attributed to the silence of Gaudium et Spes over the hierarchical terminology of the primary and secondary ends of marriage that was used in the 1917 Code of Canon Law.