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'Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America Hardcover – April 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199873747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199873746
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Riley, a former editor at The Wall Street Journal, is neither a cheerleader nor a scold. Her book functions more as a flashing yellow light at an intersection: slow down, be alert--pay attention to what serious differences may mean to a close relationship. She brings a careful, nuanced and thoughtful approach to an often contentious subject. And she adds considerable value by including results of a poll she commissioned to survey 2,450 Americans on the subject of interfaith marriage." --Gustav Niebuhr,


"The book is chock-full of fascinating statistics ('Jews are the most likely and Mormons are the least likely to marry members of other faiths'), but at its heart is a cautionary thesis: the growing number of interfaith couples don't know what they're getting into..."
--Stanley Fish, The New York Times


"Engaging and incisive account--combining clear-eyed analysis with polling data and the details of more than a hundred interviews..." --W. Bradford Wilcox, The Wall Street Journal


"Naomi Schaefer Riley's well-researched and exceedingly well-written book...is a great
gift to clergy and an even greater challenge to them. It ought to be required reading for anyone who attempts interfaith matrimony, and it's a crucial resource for anyone seeking to minister to those who contemplate or practice interfaith marriage."
--William H. Willimon,


"Riley's book is a very readable blend of survey data (she commissioned a nationwide Interfaith Marriage Survey with the help of the University of Notre Dame's David Campbell) and anecdotes." --John Turner, Patheos


''Growth in the number of inter-faith marriages in the U.S. has been a major trend in recent decades, yet few have paid it much attention.`Til Faith Do Us Part redresses that oversight, exploring the meaning and implications, advantages and realistic difficulties of people of different faiths uniting in marriage. Naomi Schaefer Riley is a sociologist's journalist, and more. She takes empirical data seriously, is balanced and fair-minded, and writes superbly. I recommend this book most highly.''
--Christian Smith, author of Lost in Transition: the Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood


''Almost half of all Americans who marry nowadays marry people not of their own faith. In this informative and well-written volume, Naomi Schaefer Riley explores this phenomenon from an inter-religious perspective. Her penetrating interviews and eye-opening statistics paint a fresh portrait of contemporary intermarriage and how it will shape America's future.''
-Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History


"Interfaith marriage became steadily more common in America throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Nationally speaking, these marriages have eased interfaith tensions and increased religious tolerance, producing a country that is at once remarkably religious and remarkably tolerant. But in the lives of individuals the blessings of interfaith marriage are more mixed. 'Til Faith Do Us Part brilliantly highlights the rich complexities and compromises and difficult tradeoffs that intermarriage entails. It is a profoundly important book-a must-read for the growing majority of Americans living interfaith lives."
--Robert D. Putnam, co-author of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us


"Having been an atheist married to a Christian, I know the turmoil that a spiritual mismatch can create in marriage. Here's a well-researched book that offers invaluable insights into this important yet seldom discussed topic."
--Lee Strobel, coauthor of Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage


About the Author


Naomi Schaefer Riley is a former Wall Street Journal editor and writer whose work focuses on higher education, religion, philanthropy, and culture. She is the author of God on the Quad and The Faculty Lounges.

More About the Author

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a former Wall Street Journal editor and writer whose work focuses on higher education, religion, philanthropy and culture. She is the author of God on the Quad: How Religious Colleges and the Missionary Generation Are Changing America (St. Martin's, 2005) and The Faculty Lounges ... And Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Pay For (Ivan Dee, 2011). Ms. Riley is also the co-editor of Acculturated (Templeton Press, 2010), a book of essays on pop culture and virtue. Her book, "'Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America," will be published in April by Oxford University Press.

Ms. Riley's writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She appears regularly on FoxNews and FoxBusiness. She has also been interviewed on Q&A with Brian Lamb as well as the Today Show.

She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in English and Government. She lives in the suburbs of New York with her husband, Jason, and their three children.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What happens when people of different faiths marry? Is there any reason why there is a rising number of inter-faith marriages? Do such marriages last? How important is a common faith in a marriage? What are the complexities of an inter-faith marriage? While people can choose their own marriage partner, they will often have the bear the consequences of that choice, especially if it is an inter-faith one. More importantly, how affected is one's faith in such an unequally yoked relationship? These questions and many more are boldly covered in this book that seeks to put some meaning and understanding into the data.

The statistics are there. Of couples in America who married in the past decade, almost 45% are inter-faith marriages, compared to 20% in the sixties. The numbers suggest that that American society is more accepting of inter-faith unions. Riley observes that such a trend actually reflects "American individualism" in contrast to community based preferences. Others simply prefer to work on the basis of most basic commonality, like "same God," or preferring a stance of openness in order to embrace a greater variety of faith beliefs. There is also some evidence to support that the older one gets, the more likely one is prepared to marry someone from another faith. There is also a rising numbers of people who choose "common values" above common religion.

Riley begins the book by looking at what marriage entails from the eyes of the different religious perspectives. Some religions like Islam has a gender bias when it comes to the status of women. Some religions like Mormonism or some Jewish sects is more hardline than others. Others like some Catholics or certain Protestant quarters tend to be more liberal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn M. on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do marriage preparation and 45% of my couples are innerfaith. this book was just what I needed to feel prepared to assist these couples in there marriages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Naomi Schaefer Riley was raised as a Conservative Jew. At a relatively early age considering the fact that most of her friends were non-Jewish she thought she would probably marry someone non- Jewish. She also thought she would insist on raising her children Jewish. Today she is married to a former Jehovah's Witness and her two children are being raised Jewish.
However the book she has written on Intermarriage in the United States does not focus on her own personal story. In the course of doing the research she interviewed over two- hundred couples, and commissioned a survey on Intermarriage. Her findings are richly informative, and throw new light on the situation not only of intermarried couples, but of the family in America.
A few decades ago when individuals married their communal loyalty and adherence to family tradition were a much stronger part of their decision- making process than they are today. Today according to Schaefer- Riley's figures and categories over forty- percent of Americans marry someone of another faith. This is a far larger figure than at any previous time in history. She attributes this to a number of factors but primarily to the role individual choice plays in American ideology and life. The first priority is to what the individual wants and believes will make them happy. So many couples before marrying do not even discuss the question of religion of their children, do not even consider the problems that may emerge. She considers this a major mistake and advises that couples who are going to intermarry should definitely discuss this matter beforehand.
Her data also shows that in- married couples have a lower rate of divorce than those who marry someone of a different religion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Naomi Schaefer has compiled lots of concrete information and personal experiences to facilitate understanding the difficulties and problems faced by mixed-faith marriages. All too frequently the religious dimension of marriage today is not given adequate consideration by people considering marriage both as a source of strength and a cause of isolation and separation. I especially appreciate the effort she has made to include the principal religious trends in the US, without eliminating or glossing over both the possibility for tragedy and success. This book should be included in the reading list of all people preparing for ministry or actively involved in parish ministry...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Cohen on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TIL FAITH DO US PART - I am in the middle of reading it and find the statistics and Ms. Riley's comments fascinating. As a clergy person who performs interfaith weddings, I find her analyses and conclusions spot on. I recommend it for any couple who are planning an interfaith wedding as well as for their parents - and maybe someday for their children. Ms. Riley does not have an agenda, she has started out on an exploration based on true stories, including her own. Read it or you'll be sorry you didn't.
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By princessmax on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It is misleading at best to lump marriages between evangelical christians and other christians into the interfaith category of the author's research. If she had separated these out, her findings would not be nearly as interesting or polarizing. It's fine to have an opinion about intermarriage but don't massage the science to make it look like you have "proof" to support your predictions.
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