In the recent General Synod debate, one of the most telling arguments in favour of retaining the Church of England’s current (though fragile) adherence to a biblical and traditional view of matrimony was an account of the recent introduction, by Anglican missionaries, of Christian monogamy in an African tribe. The speaker urged solidarity with those who were discovering for the first time the beauty of Christian marriage – and its cost.
Mostly, it seems, the speech fell on deaf ears.
It raised, however, a question which was not addressed either in the speech or the debate. Which is this: supposing that there were no residual cultural bias in favour of monogamy, would the CofE as presently constituted have the courage or the theological resources to introduce it? Is there, in other words, any argument for heterosexual monogamy which is not inconsistent with that Church’s present or emerging position on divorce, remarriage and same sex relationships? And if so, what is it?