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Theoretical Inquiries in Law

Editor-in-Chief: Hannes, Sharon

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The Liberal Transformation of Spousal Law: Past, Present and Future

Shahar Lifshitz1

1Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law

Citation Information: Theoretical Inquiries in Law. Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 15–73, ISSN (Online) 1565-3404, DOI: 10.1515/1565-3404.1284, January 2012

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Scholars and lawmakers are familiar with a meta-narrative describing the liberal revolution of spousal law that occurred in the last decades of the twentieth century, which further transformed marriage, already transformed from a Catholic religious sacrament into a public institution and legal status model in the nineteenth century, into a private contract at the end of the twentieth. This Article addresses the liberal transformation of spousal law. The goals of the discussion are threefold: First, the Article examines the liberalization as a historical narrative and the sub-narratives contained therein. Secondly, it explores the liberalization as the normative framework for the current normative debates. Finally, the Article criticizes the existing school of thought and proposes principles for a new theory that would depart from the thought patterns imposed by the liberalization narrative.

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