What is the Mixed Blessings Dictionary?

The book Mixed Blessings is a dictionary of blended religion words such as bapticostal, bujew, presbylutheran, sushi, etc., that is being published in thematic booklets (also called “fascicles”) available for sale in the website bookstore. Whether you want a preview of the forthcoming Mixed Blessings dictionary, or whether you just want a specific booklet of entries on a common theme, I hope these booklets will be of use to you.

What is the Mixed Blessings Dictionary about, you might be wondering? Well several years ago I learned that there is a fascinating linguistic phenomenon that has been happening with regard to religion. Sometimes if a person’s religious or spiritual identity doesn’t fit neatly into a single category, they will combine the names of two religions together to coin a word that’s more accurately descriptive.

This means there are wonderful words like bapticostal, buddhapalian, bu-jew, episcopagan, lutherterian, and over a thousand more that illustrate how people often don’t fit into the neat religious and spiritual categories they may have been born into or grown up with.

For example, someone might grow up in one religion or spiritual tradition and drift into another one as they become older and begin making their own choices. Because they want to honor the influence that both religions have on their life, they self-identify with a blended word.

Or perhaps someone liked the religion they grew up with well enough, but they ended up marrying someone from another religion, and now both religions have a presence in the house. And just wait until they have kids! The kids will have religious influences from both sides! Here again a blended word is often the most apropos way to describe the situation.

Human beings are a resourceful bunch, and when scenarios like the ones above happen, people rely on blended words to help explain themselves, their families, and their stories. Words like buddhapalian (Buddhism + Episcopalianism), conservadox (Conservative Judaism + Orthodox Judaism), jewtheran (Jew + Lutheran), methocostal (Methodism + Pentecostalism), and many, many more!

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