By Professor Anne C. Rose

Interfaith marriage is a visual and infrequently debatable a part of American life--and one with an important heritage. this is often the 1st old examine of non secular variety in the house. Anne Rose attracts a vibrant photo of interfaith marriages over the century prior to international conflict I, their difficulties and their social outcomes. She indicates how mixed-faith households turned 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 ideas and emotions in letters, journals, and memoirs. She examines the choices husbands and better halves made approximately non secular dedication, their relationships with the prolonged households on each side, and their convictions. those couples--who got here from robust Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds--did now not shrink back from faith yet made custom-made alterations in non secular observance. more and more, the writer notes, girls took cost of faith in the house. Rose's family-centered examine deepest non secular judgements and perform supplies new perception on American society in a interval whilst it was once turning into extra open, extra diversified, and not more community-bound.

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Extra info for Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth Century America

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Mathew Carey and Jacob Mordecai excelled as polemicists. When Carey denounced the "mass of folly and error" in the St. Mary's controversy, and Mordecai dismissed the Charleston reformers as "enthusiasts" of a "fanciful system," their rhetoric made reason the handmaid of religion. 55 N o culture imagines the mind limited to one function, however, and the vitality of the American Enlightenment made it certain that reason served masters other than faith. Mathew Carey invoked rationality as a kind of deliberation.

The step- Children of the Religious Enlightenment • 21 mother of six children, she bore seven herself and supervised the care of the Academy's girls. Suffering by comparison with the older Mordecais' "sainted mother," Rebecca interceded with the angry father in extreme cases, but, as the unwanted stepmother, was often ignored. 35 She was no more able to help the children understand how their father's unquestioned Judaism coexisted with his panoramic curiosity than was Jacob himself. Civility finally smoothed over Jacob's distress at Moses' wedding plans in 1817.

Sunday afternoons were devoted to writing, and he was fast. One pamphlet "took me about an hour and a half. " 14 His efficiency drew more deeply on his eagerness to understand and improve human society. The Carey children found the same qualities in their mother. Bridget Flavahan Carey (b. ca. 1770) practiced an unadorned Catholicism that stood easily beside temporal interests. " She preferred their own "solemn" Mass, she wrote home from Baltimore, but still appreciated new experiences. " 15 Curiosity about the world brought Bridget to the publishing business.

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