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Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith
     

Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith

by Don Mackenzie, Ted Falcon, Jamal Rahman
 

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Welcome to the deeper dimensions of interfaith dialogue—exploring that which divides us personally, spiritually and institutionally.

"We believe that interfaith dialogue holds the key to a healing that calls us back to purpose and to meaning. We have risked confronting aspects of our traditions usually hidden, and the consequences have

Overview

Welcome to the deeper dimensions of interfaith dialogue—exploring that which divides us personally, spiritually and institutionally.

"We believe that interfaith dialogue holds the key to a healing that calls us back to purpose and to meaning. We have risked confronting aspects of our traditions usually hidden, and the consequences have been deeply life-affirming. We risk becoming vulnerable as we share awkward and even unacceptable texts and interpretations, but it is this very vulnerability that allows our dialogue to move forward."
from the Introduction

Expanding on the conversation started with their very successful first book, the Interfaith Amigos—a pastor, a rabbi and an imam—probe more deeply into the problem aspects of our religious institutions to provide a profound understanding of the nature of what divides us. They identify four common problem areas in the Abrahamic faiths:

  • Exclusivity: Staking Claim to a One and Only Truth
  • Violence: Justifying Brutality in the Name of Faith
  • Inequality of Men and Women: The Patriarchal Stranglehold on Power
  • Homophobia: A Denial of Legitimacy

They explore the origins of these issues and the ways critics use these beliefs as divisive weapons. And they present ways we can use these vulnerabilities to open doors for the collaboration required to address our common issues, more profound personal relationships, and true interfaith healing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A pastor (Mackenzie), rabbi (Falcon), and imam (Rahman) team up again, building on techniques described in their first book (Getting to the Heart of Interfaith). Here, they move beyond the now clichéd post-9/11 discussions of tolerance and toward real critique. The authors seek to eliminate the violent, exclusivist, sexist, and homophobic aspects of their own religions, and then use interfaith dialogue to heal those hurt by such negativity. The book is most intriguing when the authors stop blaming extremism and admit to faults inherent in their traditions. Writing honestly about their personal struggles and misconceptions, they humanize the issues and make them impossible to ignore (what do you do when scripture commands killing?). Some readers may find it difficult to abandon their theological and political beliefs, and therefore may not be able to swallow some of the authors' more progressive ideas (e.g., discarding sexist scriptures). The authors also fail to address how a religion can remain unique in a nonexclusivist, pluralistic environment. Yet the book offers a tangible use for interfaith dialogue: it can encourage much-needed healing for readers of all faith backgrounds. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Exuberant and courageous … an inspiration and example for us all in these sadly polarized times. It is a reminder that it is possible to reach across the divisions and find not only common cause but hope and affection."
Karen Armstrong, author, A History of God: The 4,000-Year-Old Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and many other best-selling books

"Remarkably readable, insightful and even entertaining.… Highly recommended for individuals and groups."
Marcus J. Borg, best-selling author, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith and other books

"Part of [the] divine call, helping us to live as neighbors in the blessedness of our shared world…. This is that rarest of books, one that teaches us both how to live and how to live with each other."
Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies, Loyola Marymount University; editor,
Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"An urgently needed interreligious message for our turbulent age…. Candidly confronts the troubled past, while ultimately providing today's Jews, Christians and Muslims with realistic hope for the future."
Rabbi James Rudin, author, Christians and Jews: Faith to Faith—Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future

“Reminds us that when we can lay down our doctrines and share [our] struggles with open minds and hearts, we will find rich relationships and common cause … and love of neighbor … which is the point, after all.”
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, founder and senior analyst, FaithTrust Institute

“Brings hope-filled proof that interfaith affection and respect are possible in our divided world…. Challenges us to join in as they wrestle more of the hard questions separating God's faithful into disparate camps.”
Phyllis Tickle, compiler, The Divine Hours

“Looking at the good, the bad, and the ugly in their respective traditions, these three men of faith will restore your faith in the human spirit. A courageous, open-hearted and immensely generous book.”
Lesley Hazleton, author, After the Prophet and Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography

“Once again the three Interfaith Amigos give us an important contribution to interfaith understanding.”
Stuart M. Matlins, co-editor, How to Be a Perfect Stranger:
The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook
; publisher, Jewish Lights

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594733178
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
869,107
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Pastor Don Mackenzie, PhD, Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, and Imam Jamal Rahman—now known as the Interfaith Amigos—started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the US, Israel-Palestine, Japan and more. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi and an Imam, brought the Interfaith Amigos international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News and NPR.Their second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith, probes more deeply into the problem aspects of our religious institutions to provide a profound understanding of the nature of what divides us. Their work is dedicated to supporting more effective interfaith dialogue that can bring greater collaboration on the major social and economic issues of our time.

Pastor Don Mackenzie, PhD, is former minister and head of staff at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle.

Pastor Don Mackenzie, PhD, Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, and Imam Jamal Rahman—now known as the Interfaith Amigos—started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the US, Israel-Palestine, Japan and more. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi and an Imam, brought the Interfaith Amigos international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News and NPR.Their second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith, probes more deeply into the problem aspects of our religious institutions to provide a profound understanding of the nature of what divides us. Their work is dedicated to supporting more effective interfaith dialogue that can bring greater collaboration on the major social and economic issues of our time.

Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, founder of meditative synagogues in Los Angeles and Seattle, is author of A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life and coauthor of Judaism For Dummies.

Imam Jamal Rahman is a beloved teacher and retreat leader whose passion for helping people deepen their spiritual lives and cultivate interfaith understanding has inspired audiences throughout the world. He has been featured in the New York Times, on CBS News, the BBC and many NPR programs. He is cofounder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary, adjunct faculty at Seattle University and a former host of Interfaith Talk Radio. He is author of Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories & Other Islamic Wisdom and Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind (both SkyLight Paths) and The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and coauthor of Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & an Imam and Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (both SkyLight Paths), among other books.

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