Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth Century by Professor Anne C. Rose

By Professor Anne C. Rose

Interfaith marriage is a visual and infrequently arguable a part of American life--and one with an important heritage. this is often the 1st old examine of non secular range in the house. Anne Rose attracts a bright photo of interfaith marriages over the century earlier than international warfare I, their difficulties and their social effects. She indicates how mixed-faith households grew to become brokers of switch in a tradition relocating towards pluralism.

Following them over numerous generations, Rose tracks the studies of twenty-six interfaith households who recorded their suggestions and emotions in letters, journals, and memoirs. She examines the selections husbands and other halves made approximately non secular dedication, their relationships with the prolonged households on either side, and their convictions. those couples--who got here from powerful Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds--did now not draw back from faith yet made custom-made changes in spiritual observance. more and more, the writer notes, ladies took cost of faith in the house. Rose's family-centered examine inner most non secular judgements and perform offers new perception on American society in a interval while it was once turning into extra open, extra various, and no more community-bound.

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Went to St. Mary's to church," he wrote typically in his journal in 1815; "went to church at St. Augustine's" in 1820. He listened to the sermons. "Mr. " 9 Nor did he slight obligations and rites. "Fast day," he noted periodically in his diary, and, in one letter to his wife, enclosed a communion wafer. 10 Carey's piety, though undemonstrative, was integrated into his weekly routine. Faith that was secure but not dogmatic admitted compromise. " 11 Catholicism did not mark the bounds of his thinking; it shared his attention with a vast range of interests.

The intricacy of these commitments appears in three families: the Blaines and Ewings on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, the Careys and Leas in Philadelphia, and the Mordecais in Richmond, Raleigh, and Mobile. In 1841 James Gillespie Blaine, eleven years old, spent the summer with his Ewing cousins—Philemon, Hugh, and Tom—in Lancaster, Ohio. Philemon had just stayed with the Blaines in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and Tom planned to accompany James back home. 85 Because they were cousins, there was nothing unusual about the visits, except that James was a Protestant, the Ewing boys Catholics.

124 Perhaps Solomon and his wife let Suny's training slide because, on the one hand, there was nothing to discuss and, on the other, it was too painful. The idea of Jewish self-hatred overstates Solomon's Children of the Religious Enlightenment • 39 feelings. Judaism, however, was "noise and confusion" to him, and it must instinctively have made sense to raise his children as Christians. 125 Though not without guilt. In early America, there was an element of sad fatality to the absorption of the descendants of Jewishgentile marriages in Christian culture.

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