Till Faith Do Us Part... Relation Between Religious Affiliation and Attitudes Toward Cross-Cultural and Interfaith Dating and Marriage

Siham Yahya*, Simon Boag

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article addresses the relationship between religious and/or cultural affiliation and attitudes toward cross-cultural and interfaith relationships among university students in Australia. The questions of interest were as follows: (1) what is the relationship between the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and attitudes toward interfaith dating and marriages, and (2) how do the participants perceive their religious backgrounds to impact on their decisions to enter or avoid cross-cultural and interfaith relationships? Using semistructured interviews, qualitative data were gathered from 57 students (42 women, 15 men, mean age 21.9 [SD 8.8]). The findings suggest that university students in Australia (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) are generally disinclined to engage in a cross-cultural or interfaith relationship. Only some participants in the present study were open to engaging in a cross-cultural and interfaith relationship, provided the partner was neither too religious nor demanded for the participants to change in any way. However, none of these participants was actively searching for a partner of a different culture or faith. Finally, there was a clear reluctance by non-Muslim participants to be with a Muslim partner.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)480-504
    Number of pages25
    JournalMarriage and Family Review
    Volume50
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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