Chrismukkah and its increased public presence marked a shift in the public discourse around Christian–Jewish interfaith families in the United States in the years surrounding the turn of the millennium. In children's literature, greeting cards, humor books, on television and in blogs, interfaith families who practiced elements of both Christianity and Judaism constructed a multicultural identity by the strategic reframing of practices from both backgrounds. Rather than understanding this identity as based in a failure to choose one religious practice over another, multicultural interfaith families argued that their blended practices both reflected an unavoidable reality and offered distinct advantages and moral formation to their families. “Religion,” as used by these multicultural families, becomes the domain of religious institutions, with membership lists and competing truth claims. “Culture,” their preferred term, denotes practices that are equivalent and can exist simultaneously in the lives of families and individuals. The article argues that interfaith families who practice both traditions use language of multiculturalism to create a space for such choices to be framed as morally cohesive. This multicultural framing then re-casts these practices, re-inscribing them with values of tolerance and minimization of difference rather than the theological and historical content ascribed by many of the religious institutions that these families avoid.
- © 2015 by The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture