The short version: A Christian minister (Mark) and a Jewish theologian (Alana) meet, fall in love, and set up housekeeping together. Hilarity ensues.
Seriously, have you noticed that when people talk about ‘interfaith’ relationships, it’s usually two people from two different backgrounds trying to merge them together–let’s both let go of the bits of ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ that aren’t compatible, and embrace what’s left as ‘ours’? Well, great, but what if neither person wants to let go? What if we don’t want to see ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ as challenges to relationship, but as intrinsic properties of not only ourselves but of the person we’re in love with?
And that’s why we’re here: to try to give voice to the possibility of being together without letting go of religious difference. That doesn’t mean that we don’t focus more on what we have in common than not (because, c’mon, this is a partnership, not a battlefield), but on Sunday, Mark goes to church and Alana does the laundry; daily prayers are a continuing challenge for both of us, but not a shared project; while we celebrate a lot of holidays between us, and we both show up for the big meal, we don’t both expect to get spiritual meaning out of the same thing.
This is a religious blog, written by two academics, but don’t expect it to be all about religion, or entirely academic. We both find spirituality in everyday things, and the joys and frictions of our two faith traditions living side by side are expressed more in mundane details than weighty philosophical debate. So, yes, you will probably find the odd book review or reflection on Augustine, but you’ll also find talk about what’s for supper, knitting, and what we saw on our afternoon walk. Among other things. This is a work in progress, and we’ll find our balance eventually.
Mark and Alana are both Canadians who met during their doctoral studies in Scotland, moved to Jerusalem for a bit, and then settled down in England. Mark is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacraments of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. (The usual caveats apply: although obviously formed by his being a lifelong Presbyterian, the opinions expressed in this blog are his own and not official expressions of The Presbyterian Church in Canada). Alana is a lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Chester and an observant, unaffiliated Jew, whose religious practice drifts between Reform, Reconstructionist, and Renewal Judaism, and whose closest friends and relatives are a motley mix of Pagan, New-Age, Roman Catholic, atheist and agnostics–most of whom fit into several of those categories at once. Again, her opinions are her own, and not official expressions of University policy.