Plural Marriage for Our Times: A Reinvented Option?


Polygyny, or one man having several wives, is the preferred marriage pattern in most parts of the nonwestern world, although most men cannot afford more than one wife. Polyandry, in which one woman has more than one husband, is quite rare in its classic form. Various types of plural marriage such as these are surfacing in western countries as viable alternatives and positive options to economic and spiritual crisis. Kilbride explores these new varieties of family as he finds them in the United States among Mormons, African Americans, and New Age spiritual communes. His comparisons with European and African practices shed light on the renewed possibility of security and caregiving for our dependent generation who are at risk and who are suffering from fractured family relationships around the globe.