The Myth of Multireligiousness: Assessing the (Im-)Possibility of Identification with Multiple Religions

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 7:00 PM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Distributed Paper
Adam HOROWITZ , Sociology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
The rate at which people of different family-origin backgrounds (race, ethnicity, religion, etc.) form romantic relationships and have children continuously increases in the United States.  Scholarship has provided compelling accounts of the experiences of the children of inter-racial couples and their construction of “multiracial” identities.  This study explores whether a similar form of identity construction with multiple religions is possible for children of inter-religious couples.  Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with children of inter-religious parents, I examine the mechanisms most salient in religious identity formation and their effects on the possibility of identifying as “multireligious.”  I explain the relationship between parents’ choices in the religious upbringing of their children (or lack thereof), their influence on cultural/religious exposure, and how these together affect one’s ability to feel a sense of “fitting in” in a faith community.  I claim that these mechanisms serve to make self-identifying as “multireligious” a modern impossibility.