Monday, 21 January 2013

Roman Catholic polygamy - temporarily permitted in 19th century Paraguay


This is something I knew nothing about until a couple of weeks ago.

Following the incredibly destructive Paraguayan war in the mid-1800s

so many men had been killed, and so few remained, that there was apparently a temporary but official Roman Catholic dispensation allowing 'polygamy' in the sense of plural marriage - in order to enable repopulation.

This is of interest in the context of Mormon polygamy which was official policy for about 40 years up until 1890 when it was forbidden within the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

For a fascinating contextual framing of the nature and function of Old Testament polygamy, listen from 1:59 in Alastair Roberts' latest (extraordinarily long! - but in places extremely important) podcast: