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Inter-faith marriages

Books & a movie that
discuss inter-faith marriages

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Sponsored link.

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A movie:

Jennifer Kaplan is an independent filmmaker who recently released a documentary titled "Mixed Blessings: the challenges of raising children in a Jewish-Christian family." See: http://www.mixedblessingsfilm.com/ A trailer can be seen at: http://www.mixedblessingsfilm.com/

She writes:

"When we merge our lives with another whose beliefs differ from our own, conflicts can and often do occur. How does each individual within a relationship examine and articulate his or her own beliefs to his/her spouse? What happens when one partner changes his mind about a previous agreement? What if someone's faith wasn't important before raising children, but becomes important after the birth of a child? And what about the children?..."

The documentary is based on Kaplan's study of inter-faith relationships and families, and her interviews with interfaith families, clergy and experts. She found that "...the 'sticking point' for Jews and Christians focused more around the children and how they were to be raised." Mixed Blessings does not provide answers but rather raises questions that couples can ask each other and allows the viewer to gain some understanding of the complexities of mixed marriages. A companion discussion guide comes with each film. The hour long film comes with a bonus hour of extras. See: http://www.mixedbessingsfilm,com.

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Amazon.com has a Web site that will facilitate your safe ordering of books on inter-faith marriages. By clicking on the links below, can read reviews of the book. The listings often show sample pages from the book.

bulletConservative Protestants:
bullet Dineen Miller & lynn Dovovan, "Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage," Regal. Not published as of 2011-JAN. Review/order this book safely from the Amazon.com bookstore

bullet Bebe Nicholson, "When a believer marries a nonbeliever," (1997) [Methods that a conservative Christian spouse can use to convert her/his partner], (1997) Review or order this book

bulletLee & Leslie Strobel, "Surviving a spiritual mismatch in marriage," Zondervan, (2002). This chronicles the Strobel marriage in which Leslie is a conservative Christian, and Lee was originally a skeptic who later became born-again Christian. Review/order this book

bullet Eastern Orthodox - other:
bulletFr. Charles Joanides, "When you intermarry: A Resource for Inter-Christian, Intercultural Couples, Parents and Families," Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, (2002). This book is aimed at clergy, counselors, inter-faith couples and their families of origin. Review/order this book

bulletFr. Charles Joanides, "Ministering to Intermarried Couples: A Resource for Clergy and Lay Workers," Holy Cross Orthodox Press, (2003). Review/order this book

bulletA.C. Vrame, et. al., "Intermarriage: Orthodox perspectives," Holy Cross Orthodox Press, (1997). Order this book

bullet Jewish - other:
bulletHarriet Goldner, "Two Grandmothers to Love," describes the differing lives of two grandmothers -- one Christian, the other Jewish. Appropriate for children ages 2 to 6. See http://www.JewishFamilyFun.com

bulletJoan Hawxhurst: "The interfaith family guidebook: Practical advice for Jewish and Christian partners," Dovetail Publishing, (1998). Review/order this book

bulletA. King, A.M. Schindler, "If I'm Jewish and You're Christian, What are the Kids?: A parenting guide for interfaith families," Union of American Hebrew Congregations, (1993). Review/order this book

bulletY. Landy, "Intermarriage alert," Judaica Pr., (1996). [A book opposing Jewish inter-faith marriages].Review/order this book 

bulletD.A. Lerner, "Celebrating interfaith marriages: Creating your Jewish/Christian ceremony," Owl, (1999) Review/order this book The author has a description of her book at: http://www.interfaithmarriages.com/ This book is very highly regarded by Amazon.com reviewers, who gave the book a 4.5 star rating.

bulletE.J. McClain, "Embracing the stranger: Intermarriage and the future of the American Jewish community," Basic Books, (1995) Review/order this book

bulletJudy Petsonk, et. al., "The Intermarriage Handbook: A guide for Jews & Christians," Quill, (1991) Read reviews or order this book


Cokie Roberts & Steven V. Roberts, "Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families," Harper (2011). The book was written by an interfaith couple who chose to honor both of their faiths and traditionsby hosting a Passover Seder that has evolved from a small family gathering to a veritable event celebrated with loved ones from all walks of life. Review/order this book

bulletDavid J. Rudolph, "Growing Your Olive Tree Marriage: A Guide for Couples from Two Traditions," Messianic Jewish Publishers, (2003). Review/order this book

bulletAlan Silverstein, "It all begins with a date: Jewish concerns about intermarriage," Jason Aronson, (1995) Review/order this book

bulletA.W. Ata, "Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims: A West Bank study," David Lovell Publ., (2000). This book can be ordered from the  Melbourne University Bookroom

bulletBetty Sung, "Chinese-American Intermarriage," Center Migration Studies, (1989). Order this book

bulletGeneral: >
bulletP. & R. Cowan, "Mixed blessings: Overcoming the stumbling blocks in interfaith marriage," Penguin, (1989) Review or order this book safely from the Amazon.com bookstore

bulletJoel Crohn, "Mixed matches: How to create successful interracial, interethnic and interfaith relationships," Fawcett Books (1995) Review/order this book

bulletGabrielle Glaser, "Strangers to the tribe: Portraits of interfaith marriage," Houghton Mifflin, (1997), Review/order this book

bulletJ.C. Grearson, L.B. Smith, "Swaying: Essays on intercultural love," University of Iowa Press, (1995) Review/order this book

bulletMary, Stanley and Ned Rosenbaum, "Celebrating our differences: Living two faiths in one marriage," White Mane Pub, (1999)  Read reviews or order this book

bulletDugan Romano, "Intercultural Marriage: Promises & Pitfalls," Intercultural Press, (1997) Read Reviews or order this book

bulletDonna Schaper, "Raising interfaith children: Spiritual orphans or spiritual heirs," Crossroad (1999) Read Reviews or order this book

bulletNancy OMeara, "Tolerance 101: Practical solutions for interfaith family problems." Foundation for Religious Freedom, (1999). An Amazon.com reviewer writes: "A clear, concise, persuasive case for religious tolerance. I love this book! It's great! The book is very clear, interesting and persuasive. The examples are fascinating. 'Tolerance 101' should be prominently displayed in every library, church, temple, mosque etc. in the country. This book provides a valuable service to people of all religious persuasions."  Read reviews or order this inexpensive book

bulletI.M. Yob, "Keys to interfaith parenting," Barrons, (1998) Review/order this book

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A guide for parents in mixed marriages:

This book was written primarily to help Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist and other non-theistic parents raise children without formal religious indoctrination. As Terrence Walsh, an Amazon.com reviewer states:

"... it encourages you to raise kids who ask questions, consider evidence, and look for their own answers regarding the meaning of life and the existence of God. That way you can help ensure that they arrive at their personal conclusions about religion and spirituality honestly when they reach adulthood."

Another Amazon reviewer, Eliza from Maine, comments:

"This book fills a definite void in parenting literature. It contains a collection of perspectives from people who are dealing with raising children in mixed or nonreligious households. It covers topics like dealing with mixed beliefs, death and consolation, values, holidays, community, and critical thinking. It is not prescriptive in that you won't find a set answer for any topic but rather a variety of viewpoints and shared experiences from those who are dealing with them now or have dealt with them as they were raising their own children. It provides the background and resources to adopt those strategies that you feel are right for you or adapt your own. It has been great for me in thinking about issues and developing ideas with my husband as we are planning to start our family."

Seventeen out of 19 reviewers gave this book a 5 star rating out of a maximum of 5! There was one 4 star rating. One reviewer, "Mr. Pineapples" states that "Moral and intellectual relativism is useless" and gives the book 1 star out of 5 -- the lowest rating..

book cover image Dale McGowan, Ed., "Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion," American Management Association (2007). Read reviews or order this book

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Inter-faith marriage ceremonies:

bullet Laurie Sue Brockway, "A guide to blending faiths, cultures, and personal values into one beautiful wedding ceremony, Praeger, (2010) Review/order this book

bulletJoan Hawxhurst: "Interfaith Wedding Ceremonies: Samples and Sources," Dovetail Publishing, (1997). Review/order this book

bulletD.A. Lerner, "Celebrating interfaith marriages: Creating your Jewish/Christian ceremony," Owl, (1999) Review/order this book The author has a description of her book at: http://www.interfaithmarriages.com/ This book is very highly regarded by Amazon.com reviewers, who gave the book a 4.5 star rating out of 5 stars.

bullet Susanna Seefanachi Macomb, "Joining Hands and Hearts: Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations--A Practical Guide for Couples," Atria (2002). This book was reviewed by 25 Amazon.com visitors all of whom gave it the maximum rating of 5 stars! Order this book

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"Mixed marriages" within the same religion:

The term "mixed marriages" generally refers to two spouses who follow different religions. However, the term can be used to refer to a marriage between spouses who follow different traditions within the same religion.

All of the larger world religious have long ago split into more than one denomination or tradition. In the case of Christianity, differences in beliefs and practices among its tens of thousands of faith groups are so great that some observers consider Christianity to be a grouping of religions which share the Bible, the name "Christian" but little else.

Some marriages, like those between a Catholic and an Evangelical Protestant, or an Eastern Orthodox and a liberal Protestant can be as difficult to resolve as those between spouses of different religions.

Some books deal with this topic:

bulletLynn Nordhagen, "When only one converts," Our Sunday Visitor (2001). This book received a 5 star (maximum) rating from all three reviewers. Review/order this book

bulletRabbi Nancy H. Wiener, "Beyond breaking the glass: A spiritual guide to your Jewish wedding," CCAR Press, (2001). It describes liberal Jewish wedding rituals and customs of the past and present. Included is material on inter-faith marriages, same-sex unions, and remarriage after divorce. Order this book

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Amazon.com recommends the following books in interfaith marriages:

Quite often, Amazon offers used books and surplus new books at a much reduced price through their Marketplace affiliates.

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Copyright 1999 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally published: 1999-MAR-16
Updated: 2014-FEB-17

Author: B.A. Robinson
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