An Era of Interfaith Marriage: The Defiance of Boundaries

  • Erika B. Seamon
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Christianities of the World book series (CHOTW)


In his book, A Secular Age, Charles Taylor argues that in the West today there are two types of religious sensibilities. One is a spiritual quest; the other is recognition of a religious authority. He suggests that there are other alternatives, beyond this dialectic, and “that much of today’s spiritual/religious life is to be found in this middle ground.”1 The stories of these intermarriages evince this middle ground. Even though at least one spouse identified with Christianity in these interviews, no one described marriage as a Christian sacrament or a Christian covenant. No one expressed concern about upholding the Christian theological significance of the marriage, which is to celebrate a new relationship between the couple, Jesus, and the church. In addition, no one described their marriage as having strong Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist theological meaning. In the case of Buddhism, this makes sense, as Buddhism does not prescribe marriage doctrine or dogma. However, in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, marriage is not only a civil contract, but also an institution laden with very important theological significance.


Religious Practice Religious Tradition Religious Community Religious Diversity Religious Authority 
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© Erika B. Seamon 2012

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  • Erika B. Seamon

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