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Chapter Summary

Although ecclesiastical solemnization had found its place in the Swedish marriage process and was becoming customary in many regions, this development was far from complete. Often marriages, though duly witnessed and public, were still clandestine in the eyes of the Church. Scholars who have been impressed by the degree of acceptance of the Churchs marriage dogma in the Middle Ages have observed that by that time the Church had been dropping water on the stone for a thousand years. In contrast to regions like Southern Italy, where Christianity influenced the laws since the Roman Empire, or Northern France, England and Germany, which were Christianized during the Age of the Great Migrations, the Catholic Church came to Sweden very late, in the second millennium. This late introduction of the Catholic marriage dogma in Sweden has been mentioned as one of the reasons for the persistence of traditional marriage customs.

Keywords: Catholic marriage dogma; Christianity; Swedish marriage process



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