Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family

Beacon. 2013. 264p. index. ISBN 9780807013199. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807013205. REL
This positive, hopeful book studies an increasingly common choice of American families—the adoption of the faith practices of both parents rather than the choosing of one. Freelance journalist Miller provides an overview of the movement in which interfaith couples raise their children with both religions. As an infant, she was thrice secretly baptized by her Episcopal mother's family but was raised in the religion of her Jewish father. Miller's narrative moves beyond the personal as she shares the findings of surveys and interviews she conducted with more than 250 interfaith parents and children. Although most of the stories focus on Jewish and Christian couples, she frequently refers to other faiths, even including pagan and atheist partners in the mix. Miller sees Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist interfaith couples as "the next wave" and devotes a chapter to exploring the spiritual integration of such families. The move away from restrictive categories to expansive definitions of religious identity is the future, the author asserts.
VERDICT Miller's enthusiasm and exhilaration at the prospect of a new generation of interfaith Americans "healing the world" is cause for celebration. Recommended to faith practitioners of all stripes. With a substantial "Annotated Interfaith Resources" section.
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