Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Second Department

Religious Studies

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Erin Runions

Rights Information

© 2014 Rebecca C. Shin


In this thesis, I seek to contextualize the exclusivity of traditional marriage in the United States. I investigate the use of Christian beliefs applied to the American legal system, consequently becoming the foundation of American commonsense. I draw out the ways in which Augustinian thoughts on marriage have inadvertently been used to justify institutional favoritism toward heterosexual, monogamous couples. Through examining the Christian-American lens that shapes our understanding of traditional marriage, I argue that previous and current secular opposition to non-traditional marriage is fundamentally grounded in Christian faith, furthermore, American cultural understanding of marriage is unconsciously lined with Augustinian thought.

Included in

Religion Commons