Bibliography on Marriage and Family — Marcellino D’Ambrosio



by Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.

This bibliography is by no means complete or up-to-date.  It is provided only as a starting point for further reading and research on marriage and family.  It should not be implied that inclusion of a book in this bibliography connotes my endorsement of the book and it’s perspective.

  1. Theology of Marriage as Sacrament

de Haro, Ramón García.  Marriage and the Family in the Documents of the Magisterium.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1993.

Elliot, Peter.  What God Has Joined: The Sacramentality of Marriage.  New York: Alba, 1990.

Evdokimov, Paul.  The Sacrament of Love: The Nuptial Mystery in the Light of the Orthodox Tradition.  Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1985.

Grelot, Pierre.  Man and Wife in Scripture.  New York: Herder and Herder, 1965.  By one of France’s finest Catholic Scripture scholars.

Hildebrand, Dietrich von.  Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love.  Manchester, NH: Sophia, 1984 [1942].

Hogan, Richard and John M. LeVoir.  Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage and Family in the Modern World.  Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1985.  BQT 2277 H55.

International Theological Commission.  “Propositions on the Doctrine of Christian Marriage.”  In International Theological Commission: Texts and Documents 1969-1985,163-174.  See also “Christological Theses on the Sacrament of Marriage,” 175-183.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989.

John Paul II, Pope.  Apostolic Exhortation “Famularis Consortio” (On the Role of the Family in the Modern World).  Washington, DC: US Catholic Conference, 1982.  Really pertains to all categories in this bibliography: marriage, sexual ethics, family.

Kasper, Walter.  Theology of Christian Marriage.  NY: Crossroad, 1981.  BQT 4453 K27.  Kasper is now a bishop.  His theology is reliably faithful to the Church’s teaching yet in no way narrowly conservative.

Leclercq, Jacques.  Marriage, A Great Sacrament.  Dublin: Clonmore and Reynolds, 1951.  BQT 2073 .L4, 172pp.

Maestri, William F.  A Guide for the Study of Familiaris Consortio.  Boston: Pauline, 1996.

Meyendorff, John.  Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective.  3rd ed.  Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984.

Orsy, Ladislas M.  Marriage in Canon Law:Texts and Comments, Reflections and Questions.  Wilmington, DE: M. Glazier, 1986.  UD BQV 230.1012 O77 1986.  isbn 0-8146-5651-X. $16.95

Papal Teaching: Matrimony.  Selected and arranged by the Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, trans. Michael J. Byrnes.  Boston: St. Paul Books, 1963.

Pius XI, Pope.  Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii (“On Christian Marriage”).  Boston: St. Paul Books, 1930.

Rahner, Karl.  “Marriage as Sacrament,” in Theological Investigations, 10, pp. 199-221.  NY: Herder and Herder, 1973.  BQT 508 R2.

Schillebeeckx, Edward.  Marriage: Human Reality and Saving Mystery.  NY: Sheed and Ward, 1965.  BQT 1423 .S23 1966, 415 pp.  Covers marriage in Bible (vol 1) and history of Church (vol 2).  The American edition combines both in one volume. 

Wojtyla, Karol [Pope John Paul II].  Fruitful and Responsible Love.  New York: Seabury, 1979.  BQT 1783 J55, 74pp.

                                                .           Love and Responsibility.  New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1981.  BT 708 .J6313 1981, 319pp.

                                                .           The Original Unity of Man and Woman: Catechesis on the Book of Genesis.  Boston: St. Paul Books, 1981.  BQX 1152 O72, 184pp.

  1. Married Life

Burke, Cormac.  Covenanted Happiness: Love and Commitment in Marriage.  San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990.  Highly recommended by Christopher Ruff.

Campbell, Susan.  The Couple’s Journey: Intimacy as a Path to Wholeness.  San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact Publishers, 1980.

Dobson, James C.  Love for a Lifetime: Building a Marriage that will God the Distance.  Multnomah books, Questar Publishers, 1993.  Dobson is a clinical psychologist, a devout Evangelical Christian, and one of the best popular writers on questions dealing with marriage and the family, albeit from a Protestant perspective.

Dobson, James C.  Keys to a Lifelong Love.  Dallas: Word, 1994.

May, William.  Marriage, the Rock on Which the Family Is Built.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1995.

Dobson, James C.  What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women.  Tyndale, 1977.

Dobson, James C.  Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions Vol 1: Marriage  Sexuality.  Tyndale, 1992.  While there is much worthwhile material here, it should be remembered that the Protestant author does not necessarily share the view of the Catholic Church that artificial contraception within marriage is wrong.

Gilder, George.  Men and Marriage.  Gretna: Pelican Publishing Co., 1989.

Penetar, Michael P., M.D.  Building a Happy Marriage.  Boston: Pauline.

Pontifical Council for the Family.  Marriage and Family: Experiencing the Church’s Teaching in Married Life.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989.

Quesnell, Jack.  Beyond Your Wedding Day: Preparing for a Lifelong Marriage.  Winona: MN: Family Visions, Inc., 1986.

Quesnell, Jack.  Marriage: A Discovery Together.  Notre Dame, IN: Fides, 1974.

  1. Sexual Ethics and Respect for Human Life

Balthasar, Hans Urs von.  “A Word on Humanae Vitae.”  Communio 20 (1993): 437-450.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Declaration on Certain Questions Regarding Sexual Ethics.  Boston: Pauline, 1975.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Declaration on Procured Abortion.  Boston: Pauline, 1974.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Instruction Donum Vitae (On Bioethics–Respect for Human Life).  Boston: Pauline, 1974.

Dennehy, Raymond, ed.  Christian Married Love.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1981.  A Collection of essays by Malcolm Muggeridge, Louis Bouyer, H. von Balthasar, Jean Guitton and J. de Lestapis on Humanae Vitae and sexual love.

Derrick, Christopher Derrick.  Sex and Sacredness.  San Francisco: Ignatius, 1982.  Shows how our society, for all its preoccupation with sex, has really impoverished it by ripping it out of its sacred context.

Finn, Thomas and Donna.  Intimate Bedfellows: Love, Sex and the Catholic Church.  Boston: Pauline Books.  Introductory book intended to help couples better understand the teaching of the Church regarding pre-marital sex, co-habitation, use of contraceptives, etc.

Kippley, John.  Sex and the Marriage Covenant.  Cincinnati: Couple to Couple League.

John Paul II, Pope.  Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life).  Boston: Pauline, 1995.

John Paul II, Pope.  Reflections on Humanae Vitae.  Boston: Pauline.  Authoritative Commentary on an important document.

John Paul II, Pope.  Blessed Are the Pure of Heart.  Boston: Pauline.  Reflections on the theology of the body and the meaning of purity as explained in the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of St. Paul.

May, William.  Sex, Marriage, and Chastity.  Franciscan Herald Press.  Recommended by Dr. Lowery.

McCarthy, Donald, ed.  Reproductive Technologies, Marriage and the Church.  Proceedings of the Seventh Bishops’ Workshop on Bioethics.  Braintree, MA:  Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1988.

Paul VI, Pope.  Encyclical Humanae Vitae (On Human Life).  Boston: Pauline, 1968.

Séguin, Michael.  “The Biblical Foundations of the Thought of John Paul II on Human Sexuality.”  Communio 20 (1993): 266-289.

  1. Parenting and Family Life

Baars, Conrad.  Born Onlly Once: The Miracle of Affirmation.  Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1975.  Baars is a Catholic psychologist who emphasizes the need for affirming love.

Baars, Conrad.  Feeling and Healing Your Emotions.  Staten Island, NY: Alba House.  Recommended by Christopher Ruff, despite the title!

Dobson, James C.  Children at Risk: What you Need to Know to Protect Your Family.  Dallas: Word, 1994.

Dobson, James C.  Dare to Discipline.  Rev. ed.  Tyndale, 1991.  A successive edition entitled The New Dare to Discipline (1992) is also available from the same publisher.

Dobson, James C.  Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions Vol 2: Confident Families.  Tyndale, 1992.

Dobson, James C.  Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions Vol 3: Raising Children.  Tyndale, 1992.

Dobson, James C.  Parenting Isn’t for Cowards.  Dallas: Word.

Dobson, James C.  Preparing for Adolescence.  Revised ed.  Regal, 1989.

Ghezzi, Bert.  Guiltless Catholic Parenting from A to Y: Nobody Knows Everything there is to Know, But Here’s Wisdom to Help You Do It Well.  Ann Arbor: Servant, 1995.

Ghezzi, Bert, ed.  Keeping Your Kids Catholic.  Ann Arbor: Servant, 1989.  Anthology of articles which make for a practical “how-to” book that is appropriate for use by study groups.

Guroian, Vigen.  “Family and Christian Virtue in a Post-Christendom World: Reflections on the Ecclesial Vision of John Chrysostom.”  St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 35 (1991):327-350.

Hamilton, Mark.  Family Matters: A Guide to Christian Family Living. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1992.

Hardon, John.  The Catholic Family in the Modern World.  St. Paul, MN: Leaflet Missal Co., 1991.

Isaacs, David.  Character Building: A Guide for Parents and Teachers.  Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1981.  A father of six and professional educator discusses the moral and theological virtues and the proper age each should be cultivated in a child.

John Paul II, Pope.  Letter to Families.  Boston: Pauline, 1994.

Karen, Robert.  Becoming Attached.  Warner Books.  A secular book that approaches the topic of the human need for affirmation and bonding from a psychological point of view.  Recommended by Christopher Ruff.

Kmiec, Douglas.  Cease-Fire on the Family: The End of the Culture War.  Crisis Books, 1995.

Kuharski, Mary Ann.  Rasing Catholic Children.  Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1991.  A mother of 13 shares practical tips in an inspiring and entertaining way.

Kuharski, Mary Ann.  Parenting With Prayer.  Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor.  Practical tips about family catechesis and prayer.  How to pass on the Catholic Tradition to your kids.

Martini, Carlo Maria.  The New Wine: Christian Witness of the Family.  Boston: Pauline, 1996.  Written by the Archbishop of Milan.

Miller, John W.  Biblical Faith and Fathering: Why We Call God “Father.”  Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1989.

Pieper, Josef.  About Love.  Franciscan Herald Press.  Written by one of the greatest Catholic philosophers of the century, this book comes highly recommended by Christopher Ruff.

Sicari, Antonio.  “The Family: A Place of Fraternity.”  Communio 20 (1993): 290-305.

Stenson, James.  Preparing for Adolescence.  New Rochelle, NY: Sceptor Booklets, 1990.

Stenson, James.  Successful Fathers.  New Rochelle, NY: Sceptor Booklets, 1989.

Synod of Bishops.  “Message to Christian Families.”  Origins 10 (Nov. 6, 1980, no. 21): 321-329.

Wickens, Paul.  Handbook for Parents: Common-Sense Rules for Catholic Mothers and Fathers.  Long Prairie, MN: Neumann Press.

Wilmes, David.  Parenting for Prevention: How to Raise a Child to Say No to Alcohol/Drugs.  Minneapolis: Johnson Institute Books, 1988.


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