By Professor Anne C. Rose
Interfaith marriage is a visual and sometimes debatable a part of American life--and one with an important historical past. this is often the 1st ancient learn of non secular variety in the house. Anne Rose attracts a shiny photograph of interfaith marriages over the century prior to global conflict I, their difficulties and their social effects. She exhibits how mixed-faith households turned brokers of switch in a tradition relocating towards pluralism.
Following them over numerous generations, Rose tracks the reports of twenty-six interfaith households who recorded their techniques and emotions in letters, journals, and memoirs. She examines the selections husbands and other halves made approximately spiritual 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 no longer shrink back from faith yet made custom-made alterations in non secular 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 whilst it used to be turning into extra open, extra varied, and no more community-bound.
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Additional resources for Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth Century America
100 Michael Hurley, pastor of St. Augustine's, was an old friend who sometimes dined with the Careys. 101 Whatever the formal grounds of the dispensation, personal loyalty must have helped sway the priest. Besides, Hurley had officiated at Henry's mixed marriage in 1819. Neither the Careys' family circle nor their standing in the church appeared damaged by the children's weddings to non-Catholics. This cordiality was not simply a cheerful face for a ceremony that caused private distress. The family's Catholics and Protestants continued to mingle on close terms.
Rebecca Mordecai, Jacob's wife, felt so close to one neighbor in North Carolina, Eliza Children of the Religious Enlightenment • 29 Kennon, that she named her fifth child for her in 1809. The affection was returned. " 7 9 Rachel invoked the uncomplicated cordiality of the Mordecais and Kennons to avert Moses' intermarriage. Her distinction between acceptable and unacceptable women mirrored her discrimination of safe and unsafe ways to mix with gentiles. Wishfully, Moses' romance might seem more palatable if it resembled the family's bond with Sally Kennon.
Social advantage was one attraction of communities still taking shape. Frank Blair, a Democratic politician, became Gratz's brother-in-law in Lexington, and Henry Clay was Benjamin's close friend. 65 But the deeper lure of transitional societies was subjective: the chance to make one's way socially matched the young men's state of mind. Rebecca Gratz and Rachel Mordecai, sisters at home, wrote fearfully to their brothers, as if they had crossed into a domain of indeterminate values. " 66 Rachel spoke of Moses' engagement as nearly a betrayal of civilization.