"Writing the history of a religious institution involves understanding concepts and language within their historical and cultural context. Otherwise, the risk is taken that history will be rewritten to suit current preoccupations. Boswell’s attempt to prove that the Byzantines regarded adelphopoiesis as a form of marriage fails because his research presents historical facts and events out of context. From Boswell’s viewpoint, it would appear that matrimony is being celebrated when two individuals are united by a priestly blessing in a service using symbols held in common with marriage ceremonies. However, Byzantine marriage was celebrated as a process that united families as well as spouses in a series of rituals, not in one rite that mainly affected its participants. Simply put, adelphopoiesis was certainly a kind of union between two individuals, but to make this institution equivalent to matrimony necessitates a perspective and context foreign to the late Byzantine Church."
Counterpoint to the previous article I just posted, sent to me by a childhood who is now an Eastern Orthodox priest.
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