Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Mixed Blessings: Overcoming the Stumbling BLocks in an Interfaith Marriage Paperback – November 1, 1988

2.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$5.80 $0.03

Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors explore the endemic vicissitudes of interfaith marriage. PW said that "despite their avowed bias as committed Jews, the Cowans are fairminded and compassionate, and interfaith couples, their families and the clergy will appreciate this authoritative, practical work."
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140111891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140111897
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,788,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Paul and Rachel Cowan would have made this book a little less confusing if they had stated their biases more clearly at the beginning of the book. I was looking for a supportive book about negotiating the ins and outs of interfaith relationships. Instead, I found this book's tone to be somewhat disapproving. The Cowan's message seems to be: "If you're going to get into an interfaith relationship, it will be an struggle each and every day. In order to make the relationship work and do the right thing, the Christian partner should subvert his/her identity as much as possible."
The Cowans do a terrific job of describing the larger forces at work: Jewish history, sociological pressures, family dynamics. And the book did help me deepen my understanding of the competing pressures that my Jewish partner faces. Truly, it was worth reading for that alone. But ultimately, it left me feeling as though my perspective and needs as the (marginally) Christian partner are less valid.
Love exists within the framework of history, between members of groups who have at times been the oppressed or the oppressor. But it also exists between two individuals, whose intentions can be honest, pure, and full of deep concern about the survival of the Jewish people. To reduce that love to a sociological trend (or mere curiosity about the "exotic other," which they do repeatedly) and to put one partner's concerns so far above the other's, did me a painful disservice.
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
While I appreciate the thoroughness with which the Cowans present and explore the very real complications that can arise from an interfaith marriage, I was disappointed by the clear one-sidedness of their discussion. In particular, I found their descriptions of the religious lives and heritages of the Christian partners they cite to be an unfair and unflattering charicature of the richness that Christianity can bring to a household. Almost without exception, the Cowans refer to people whose Christian upbringing was at best uninspiring, at worst, oppressive. Due to this bias, I found their book to be only marginally useful in any attempt to find a way to embrace both the Jewish and Christian traditions and to discover paths by which interfaith couples might support each other in a spirit of mutual respect. This book has a clear agenda: to convert the Christian partner to Judaism. If dialogue and open-mindedness are what you seek, I suggest you check out The Interfaith Family Guide Book from Dovetail Publishing. In this generation, Jews and Christians who love each other are, I think, seeking alternatives to the exclusivism of the past. Help and counsel are available. I'm afraid, however, that Mixed Blessings is not the best place to find it.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on March 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Don't buy this book unless you are a Christian planning on converting. The authors really don't give a balanced view since the wife converted to Judiasm. A better title for the book would be "The sooner you convert the better." I would recommend books from Dovetail publishers if you want to be truly helped in this serious and emotionaly involved topic.
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book was full of biases and faulty assumptions. I am sorry that I wasted my time and money on it. As other reviewers have remarked, the Cowans (the Christian wife of whom converted to her husband's faith) clearly have an agenda- to convince non-Jews that they must convert to their partner's faith and to convince Jews that if their gentile partner won't give in and stop being so goyish, the marriage is doomed. Bull hockey, I say! And I know whereof I speak, being the gentile partner in a long-term interfaith relationship, with a partner whose parents are Jewish and Christian too, successfully married for 30 years!
One assumption the Cowans make is that there are two types of people- Jews and Christians. Based on this assumption, they go on for pages about the history of Christians persecuting Jews and completely ignore the fact that there is more than one combination possible for an intermarriage. I am a gentile, but not a Christian, and in my acquaintance there is a Jewish/Buddhist couple, a Jewish/Wiccan couple and many other such pairs. This oversight made the book even less useful than it was to begin with.
There were several passages in the book that were so mean and insensitive that they almost made me cry! For instance, the way in one of their seminars they allow the Jewish participants to berate a Christian woman endlessly for wanting a Christmas tree (and she came from a broken home where Christmas was the only happy time!). There is much on how she must be sensitive to her husband's feelings about Christian persecution/being a minority, but what about her? She has feelings too, as do all us other gentiles in intermarriages! Eventually she was pressured into not only giving up the tree but also converting.
Read more ›
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Yes at times this book was hard to read since I am a Catholic getting married to someone of the Jewish faith, but I still feel this book is very relevant to modern interfaith couples even though it appears many of the other reviewers only want to throw their edition on this years Christmas yuletide log soon to be burning in their fireplace. I have every intension of keeping my faith as well as my fiancée keeping hers, but the reality remains that people with the Jewish faith have a much deeper idea of what it means to be Jewish and this book does a great job at conveying that.

I have read a handful of books on interfaith marriages and the reality is the decision a couple takes on their faith is a deeply personal and subjective one. This book does present an uncensored perspective, and yes at times appears to have a Jewish agenda, on issues that exist within interfaith marriages and might exist later within children of interfaith marriages that many people do not like to think about. Obviously some of the subject matter within the book was hard for people, including myself, to appreciate and to address, but there are definitely things a couple can pull out of this book and talk among themselves before "time bombs" explode in their relationship. I must also say I felt that the book was very well written, but the historical narrative on interfaith marriages did get a bit dull at times. All around I got a good deal out of this book even though I did not agree with everything written in it.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews