Please join us as we explore our next selection during our Interfaith Book Club.
Our small interfaith group has been holding an interfaith book club for a couple years now and we are starting to prepare for our next “chapter” to start in February of 2020.
We have had members from the Catholic church, the Anglican church, the Bahia’ faith, the Buddhist centre and have also had members of the Muslim community join us.
We find it enriching and supportive to have as many faith communities take part as we can.
We over the past 2+ years, we have read
The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama,
The Book of Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu
12 Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong.
We have several choices of book to discover together and would very much love to have your suggestions for our next chapter in February 2020.
Some suggestions so far:
The Gifts of the Jews,-
How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed The Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
by Thomas Cahill
“The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies–a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence–and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, “The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as “How the Irish Saved Civilization”
God Is Not One
God Is Not One:
The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter.
by Stephen R. Prothero
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious. For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world. We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet’s problems. So why do we pretend that the world’s religious traditions are different paths to the same God? We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace naÏve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences.In God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example:
–Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission
–Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation
–Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order
–Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening
–Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God
Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia—and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today. A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world’s religions work.
The Good Heart –
A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus.
In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha–and the rich traditions from which they hail–His Holiness delivers a profound affirmation of the sacred in all religions. Readers will be inspired by the Dalai Lama’s discussion of the endless merits of each tradition and uplifted by the common humanity between them.
Living Buddha, Living Christ
by Thich Nhat Hanh
When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh Buddha and Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over the course of two millenia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other’s spiritual views and practices?The bestselling author of “Peace is Every Step, ” and one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers in the West, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has been part of a decades-long dialogue between the two greatest living contemplative traditions, and brings to Christianity an appreciation of its beauty that could be conveyed only by an outsider. In a lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and reawakens our understanding of both. “On the altar in my hermitage, ” he says, “are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors.