Tying the Knot versus Bonds with God: Jews and Muslims in Interfaith Marriages

The Others’ Faith: World Religions through the Lens of Judaism and Islam (video recording available, in German)

The fifth event of our lecture series The Others’ Faith is dedicated to the question: Does interfaith marital bliss require religious relativism?

recording available

Madeleine Dreyfus and Imen Gallala-Arndt discuss, if interfaith marital bliss requires religious relativism. Event from 18 June 2020, in German; Jewish Museum Berlin 2020

Love goes beyond religious and cultural barriers, or at least that is what many believe. The growing number of interfaith marriages in Europe and the United States does seem to confirm this. But in day-to-day life, couples who practice different faiths confront a variety of challenges.

How do Jews and Muslims handle this? How can someone strike a balance between their own religious beliefs and their partner’s – and pass on those beliefs to children? And finally, how do the religious authorities react to interdenominational marriages?

A discussion with Madeleine Dreyfus (cultural anthropologist and psychoanalyst) and Imen Gallala-Arndt (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology) chaired by Alina Gromova, Jewish Museum Berlin.

Madeleine Dreyfus

Madeleine Dreyfus is a psychoanalyst with a doctorate in cultural anthropology. She is the author of the book Ein ziemlich jüdisches Leben: Säkulare Identitäten im Spannungsfeld interreligiöser Beziehungen (A Fairly Jewish Life: Between Secular Identities and Interfaith Relationships), which explores the Jewish identities of people who came from or live in interfaith households and want to pass on their Jewishness to the next generation.

Imen Gallala-Arndt

Imen Gallala-Arndt is a lawyer and a lecturer at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. Her research focuses on legal reforms in Arab countries. Considering the examples of Lebanon, Tunisia, and Israel, she has investigated how interfaith marriages relate to the tensions between religious and civil law.

Portraits of Madeleine Dreyfus and Imen Gallala-Arndt

Madeleine Dreyfus (left), photo: Julien Vonier, Imen Gallala-Arndt, photo: private

Where, when, what?

Lecture Series 2019/20: The Others’ Faith (6)

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