Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar
Readings on Courting and Marrying
Paperback | 9780268019600 | February 2000
Hardcover | 9780268019594 | February 2000
Despite current concerns for “family values” and the dissolution of marriages, Amy A. and Leon R. Kass see very little attention being paid to what makes for marital success. They argue there are no longer socially prescribed forms of conduct that help guide young men and women in the direction of matrimony; the very concepts of “wooing” and “courting” seem archaic. Yet they see major discontent with the present situation and detect among their students certain longings—for friendship, for wholeness, for a life that is serious and deep, and for associations that are trustworthy and lasting—longings they do not realize could be largely satisfied by marrying well. Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Courting and Marrying is an anthology of source readings offered as a response to the contemporary cultural silence surrounding love that leads to marriage. It addresses important questions that emerge not from theory, but from practice: Why marry? Is this love? How can I find and win the right one to marry? What about sex? Why a wedding and the promises of marriage? What can married life be like? Using readings taken mainly from classic texts of Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aquinas, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Austen, Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, Miss Manners, and many others, this collection challenges our unexamined opinions, expands our sympathies, elevates our gaze. It offers a higher kind of sex education, one that prepares hearts and minds for romance leading to lasting marriage, and introduces us to possibilities open to human beings in everyday life that may be undreamt of in our current philosophizing. This unapologetically pro-marriage anthology is intended to help young people of marriageable age and their parents think about the meaning, purpose, and virtues of marriage and, especially, about finding the right person with whom to make a life.
Amy A. Kass (1940–2015) was an American academic and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Kass spent most of her career as a professor of classic texts in the College of the University of Chicago. Her scholarly interests included courtship and marriage, civic engagement, citizenship and citizen formation, and philanthropy. She is the author of American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinction.
Leon R. Kass is Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. He was chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2005. He is the author of The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature and, with James Q. Wilson, The Ethics of Human Cloning.
“What once seemed self-evident connections between love and marriage are today obscured and widely denied. This book . . . is a corrective that both instructs and delights. In order to lift up the charms and complexities of man and woman’s need for each other, the Kasses enlist the help of Homer, Aquinas, Shakespeare, Austen, Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, and a host of other worthies. Their extended introduction is rare wisdom distilled through their own marriage and in lively conversation with the best that has been thought and said about keeping faith with the promise of love. This is a book to return to again and again, tasting and testing the wondrous diversity of ways in which that promise has been, and can be, lived. There are also powerful cautionary tales about the tragic consequences of the promise betrayed. Highly recommended for both personal reflection and classroom use.” ~First Things