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Observing Different Faiths, Learning About Ourselves: Practice with Inter-married Muslims and Christians

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The present article offers practitioners initial ideas for work with clients in mixed-faith relationships. Based on local, empirical research that investigated Muslim–Christian marriages, six patterns of adaptation to a mixed-faith marriage are outlined. In addition, from a practice-oriented review of the data, four questions are identified that can be used by practitioners to clarify their thinking and practice focus. Increasingly technical, these reference questions are: (i) how is the public–private divide being understood and managed; (ii) how is identity and selfhood being practiced; (iii) how may practitioners position themselves with respect to asymmetries related to gender; and (iv) should religious differences be reframed? Rather than practitioners seeking to be experts on the other, the belief animating the current contribution is that work with diverse clients offers workers a mirror upon which we practitioners can better observe our own outlines. In contrast with the pursuit of imperial generalisations, the authors of the present study commend the benefits of reflectively denaturalising our own positions.
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Keywords: Diversity; Inter-marriage; Religion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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