Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth Century America
Interfaith marriage is a visible and often controversial part of American life--and one with a significant history. This is the first historical study of religious diversity in the home. Anne Rose draws a vivid picture of interfaith marriages over the century before World War I, their problems and their social consequences. She shows how mixed-faith families became agents of change in a culture moving toward pluralism.
Following them over several generations, Rose tracks the experiences of twenty-six interfaith families who recorded their thoughts and feelings in letters, journals, and memoirs. She examines the decisions husbands and wives made about religious commitment, their relationships with the extended families on both sides, and their convictions. These couples--who came from strong Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds--did not turn away from religion but made personalized adjustments in religious observance. Increasingly, the author notes, women took charge of religion in the home. Rose's family-centered look at private religious decisions and practice gives new insight on American society in a period when it was becoming more open, more diverse, and less community-bound.
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Beloved strangers: interfaith families in nineteenth-century AmericaUser Review - Book Verdict
Beginning with the complicated parenting struggles of Protestant Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman and his Catholic wife, Rose (history and religious studies, Penn State Univ.) introduces her work on the cultural, familial, and religious issues created by interfaith alliances. Limiting her study to the years between 1865 and 1918, she examines 26 families through letters, journals, memoirs, and, in more controversial cases, public documents such as newspapers. In this cultural history of the well-bred and the well-educated, Rose suggests that liberal families of 19th-century America reflected an emerging melting pot mentality through their willingness to suffer and/or entertain interfaith marriages between Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. Indeed, social liberalism at times seems more like the threshold to interfaith relationships than anything else. Heavily documented with over 70 pages of footnotes and family trees, Rose's analysis stays closer to thoughts and feelings, rarely straying into what she terms "quantifiable trends," a thing one sometimes wishes for as a point of comparison. While the vision is limited to the elite sector of society, it still makes an interesting read for American studies and religion collections. Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., Pittsburgh ...
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Beloved Strangers: Interfaith Families in Nineteenth-century America
Anne C. Rose
Limited preview - 2001
Domesticating Foreign Struggles: The Italian Risorgimento and Antebellum ...
Limited preview - 2005