Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Kirby 104
Susan Katz Miller

In the twenty-first century, academics and activists have been busting the false binaries of race, sexual orientation, gender, and now religion. Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family chronicles the rise of a controversial new grassroots movement: interfaith families choosing to celebrate both religions. Most clergy of every stripe continue to urge intermarried couples to raise children in one religion. However, growing up as an interfaith child celebrating only one religion, Miller became aware of both the benefits and the drawbacks of this strategy. In her book, she makes the case that each pathway open to an interfaith family—choosing one religion, choosing both family religions, choosing no religion, choosing many religions—is valid, and no one model works for all families. After years living with the more complex religious identities in Africa and Brazil, Miller and her husband decided to raise their own children with both family religions.

Last fall, Pew Research found 25% of intermarried Jewish parents raising children “partly Jewish and partly something else.” What does this mean for these children? And how do they fit into a world characterized by the rise of the religious "nones," a shift away from religious institutions, and the embrace of more complex identities? Miller, a former Newsweek reporter, interweaves her own story with reporting, and responses from original surveys of parents and grown interfaith children. The result is the first book by an adult interfaith child to advocate for the right of interfaith families to claim, and embrace, both family religions--and the first book to give voice to the interfaith teens, college students and young adults raised with interfaith education.





Sponsored by: 
Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, Friends of Skillman Library, Hillel, Newman Association, Interfaith Council

Contact information

Chaplain Alex Hendrickson