Catholic teaching about marriage responsible of emergence of WEIRD culture

Joseph Henrich, an agnostic, credits the Catholic Church for shaping WEIRD culture, which represents less than 1% of the world’s population and is characterized by being Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.

In his analysis, he connects the term “weird” to a significant event in global history – the implementation of the “Marriage and Family Programme” by the Catholic Church starting in the 6th century. The Catholic teaching held to the free consent of both parties to marriage. It forbids marriages between close relatives.

Limiting eligible marriage partners resulted in people having to search for spouses outside their extended clan. This increased relational mobility, which weakened the power of patriarchs in arranging marriages to foster clan alliances. With weakened clans, there was greater commerce, capitalism, free markets, inalienable rights, and democracy. Read more

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News category: Odd Spot.

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