Mixed-Up Love: Relationships, Family, and Religious Identity in the 21st Century

Jon M. Sweeney and Michal Woll. Jericho, $15 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4555-4589-6
This husband-and-wife collaboration (he is Catholic, she is Jewish and a rabbi) attempts to provide a road map for other interfaith couples. Breezy and conversational, it does not live up to its title as an exploration of "relationships, family and religious identity in the 21st century." It may best be appreciated as a story of two people who share a liberal worldview and a professional life steeped in religious learning and ritual. Sweeney's life story is the more interesting of the two: he was reared in an evangelical home and attended Moody Bible Institute before switching to an Episcopal seminary and ultimately converting to Catholicism. Both came from previous marriages. The book is useful in exploring the compromises the couple made. They decide to marry in a civil ceremony, rather than mash up two different traditions (or find clergy willing to marry them). There are harder challenges too; many Jewish congregations are unwilling to hire a rabbi married to a non-Jew, for example. Interfaith marriage is no longer rare, but this book deals a death knell to the old way of marrying—where one partner converts to the other's faith. Agent: Greg Daniel, Daniel Literary Group. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/15/2013
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