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{{vm.product.SpProduct.Article}} Mystery of Marriage
A Theology of the Body and the Sacrament

Perry J. Cahall

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This remarkable study offers a complete explanation of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage. Incorporating the rich insights found in St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, as well as the rich theological tradition of the Church, The Mystery of Marriage delves into the theology of Marriage through a look at the biblical, systematic, pastoral and historical traditions which have shaped the Church’s understanding of this sacrament.

“At first glance I thought Professor Cahall's book would simply offer a theology of marriage in light of Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Had it only done thisand it does this beautifullythe book would be a major contribution. But this marvelous feast of a book also offers an extended reflection on the image of God; a study of the relation of eros and charity; a balanced analysis of the nature and goods of marriage; a detailed history of the development of the theology of marriage from the Old Testament through the twentieth century; an insightful treatment of marriage’s place within the seven sacraments; a study of marital spirituality; a full-fledged and persuasive sexual ethics; an excellent discussion of the value of celibacy; and one of the best presentations I have ever seen of the unique marriage of Mary and Joseph. It does all this, moreover, with accessible prose and a disarming humility. This book should be a wedding gift to each Catholic couple. It will immediately become the standard textbook in the field.”

Matthew Levering, PhD,
Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology
University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary


“Here is the book on marriage that so many of us have been waiting for: impeccable scholarship wedded to readability. Dr. Cahall’s gift to the Church makes accessible to clergy, graduate students and family life ministers the true beauty of Catholic marriage. This book encourages Catholics to secure and guard the treasure that is sacramental marriage in a time when only confusion reigns about its nature. Dr. Cahall gives the Church a hope that we can once again recover the truth of Catholic marriage as a way to holiness.”  

Deacon James Keating, PhD,
Director of Theological Formation
Institute for Priestly Formation,
Creighton University, NE


“Perry J. Cahall uses Saint John Paul II’s catechesis to engage Catholic teaching on marriageits scriptural foundations, history, and contemporary theology and practice. The result is a work that is at once comprehensive and clear and which helpfully integrates the insights of the theology of the body with the rest of the teaching tradition of which it is a part. This is an excellent resource for upper level undergraduate and seminary courses on marriage.”

John S. Grabowski, PhD,
Associate Professor and Director of Moral Theology/Ethics School of Theology and Religious Studies,
Catholic University of America


“After twenty-five years in the daily practice and teaching of canon lawwith roughly half of that work being focused on marriage issuesI may say without exaggeration that it takes rather a lot to teach me something new about the Church and marriage. But Dr. Perry Cahall’s The Mystery of Marriage does just that. Cahall demonstrates a solid command of the astonishing variety of sources that make up Church teaching on marriage, and then he draws on those sources in examining, in a careful and competent way, St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Cahall’s study rewards not only selective, topical consultation, it also warrants a cover-to-cover reading.”

Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD,
Professor of Canon Law,
Sacred Heart Major Seminary Referendary,
Apostolic Signatura


“Perry Cahall’s splendid new book is an invaluable contribution to the theological literature on marriage and family. In this book he accomplishes the seemingly impossible: He not only summarizes clearly and faithfully the Church’s long tradition from Scripture to Vatican II, but he takes that tradition, integrates it with the explanations and expansions of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and presents to the reader a coherent theology of marriage sensitive to the unique challenges that Christians face in the second decade of the 21st century ... Dr. Cahall has a rare talent of simultaneously addressing the educated layman and fellow scholars in his field. I heartily recommend his book for both advanced catechetical studies and upper level undergraduate and seminary education. Although everything new glitters, not everything retains its shine … Perry Cahall’s text is a striking exception. It not only glitters, but promises to keep its shine for many years.”

 Christian Brugger,
J. Francis Cardinal Stafford Professor of Moral Theology
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary,
Denver, CO