Beyond Chrismukkah

The Christian-Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States

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Samira K. Mehta
  • Chapel Hill, NC: 
    University of North Carolina Press
    , March
     2018.
     274 pages.
     $27.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781469636368.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Rita George-Tvrtkovic forthcoming.

Description

The rate of interfaith marriage in the United States has risen so radically since the sixties that it is difficult to recall how taboo the practice once was. How is this development understood and regarded by Americans generally, and what does it tell us about the nation’s religious life? Drawing on ethnographic and historical sources, Samira K. Mehta provides a fascinating analysis of wives, husbands, children, and their extended families in interfaith homes; religious leaders; and the social and cultural milieu surrounding mixed marriages among Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. 

Mehta’s eye-opening look at the portrayal of interfaith families across American culture since the mid-twentieth century ranges from popular TV shows, holiday cards, and humorous guides to “Chrismukkah” to children’s books, young adult fiction, and religious and secular advice manuals. Mehta argues that the emergence of multiculturalism helped generate new terms by which interfaith families felt empowered to shape their lived religious practices in ways and degrees previously unknown. They began to intertwine their religious identities without compromising their social standing. This rich portrait of families living diverse religions together at home advances the understanding of how religion functions in American society today.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Samira K. Mehta is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Albright College.

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