The Faith Club

The Faith Club

A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew-- Three Women Search for Understanding

Book - 2006
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"Welcome to the Faith Club. We're three mothers from three faiths -- Islam, Christianity, and Judaism -- who got together to write a picture book for our children that would highlight the connections between our religions. But no sooner had we started talking about our beliefs and how to explain them to our children than our differences led to misunderstandings. Our project nearly fell apart." After September 11th, Ranya Idliby, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent, faced constant questions about Islam, God, and death from her children, the only Muslims in their classrooms. Inspired by a story about Muhammad, Ranya reached out to two other mothers -- a Christian and a Jew -- to try to understand and answer these questions for her children. After just a few meetings, however, it became clear that the women themselves needed an honest and open environment where they could admit -- and discuss -- their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about one another. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Suzanne, and Priscilla grew close enough to discover and explore what united them. The Faith Clubis a memoir of spiritual reflections in three voices that will make readers feel as if they are eavesdropping on the authors' private conversations, provocative discussions, and often controversial opinions and conclusions. The authors wrestle with the issues of anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims, and preconceptions of Christians at a time when fundamentalists dominate the public face of Christianity. They write beautifully and affectingly of their families, their losses and grief, their fears and hopes for themselves and their loved ones. And as the authors reveal their deepest beliefs, readers watch the blossoming of a profound interfaith friendship and the birth of a new way of relating to others. In a final chapter, they provide detailed advice on how to start a faith club: the questions to ask, the books to read, and most important, the open-minded attitude to maintain in order to come through the experience with an enriched personal faith and understanding of others. Pioneering, timely, and deeply thoughtful,The Faith Club's caring message will resonate with people of all faiths. For more information or to start your own faith club visit www.thefaithclub.com
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2006.
ISBN: 9780743290470
074329047X
Branch Call Number: 201.5 IDLIBY R
Characteristics: viii, 308 pages ; 22 cm.

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danielestes
Mar 16, 2012

Probably the single most important criticism applied to this book has to do with the relative amateur understanding these three women have with respect to their own religions. It's a strong accusation: You aren't qualified to speak for us. This, I believe, highlights one of the inherent problems with religion. First of all, most people are laymen when it comes to the book specifics of the religion they follow and practice. Religions tend to thrive better when the hierarchy is more structured and the leaders at the top speak for the group. Religions are formed around a uniqueness that sets them apart from the rest, and similarly, the group tends to reject beliefs that undermines that uniqueness.

Secondly, all of the above is ultimately pointless. It was more valuable that these three women opened themselves up to each other than to try and be spokesmen for their religions. This book highlights their journey to try and understand something different from what they know. If more people spent less time trying to prove the worth of their earth-centric knowledge of God and more time meeting with their neighbors, I believe a real growth would result.

thart Oct 19, 2011

Read for book club (5/2011). With this one the title says it "A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew--Three Women Search for Understanding." That is the book in a nutshell. I found it very interesting and definitely both learned a good deal and could identify with each woman in different ways. I think in absence of women of different faiths that one can chat candidly with, the book is a fun substitute. They talk about their doubts, the strengths and weaknesses they perceive in each others religions and their own, the varying degrees they do and don't want religion and faith in their lives, and how modern women of all three respective traditions draw a difference between faith and religion. They express how one can have faith but not necessarily be thrilled with every aspect of their religions. My only regret with this is that all the people in my book club who attended that day were from a Christian background; however, it was still interesting to discuss because we came from different sects of Christianity and had varying amounts of knowledge about different world religions, as well as different experiences and impressions of other religions than Christianity.

l
luckyjackie1968
Jun 02, 2010

I learned so much from this book about the the different faiths. It was well written and an enjoyable read.

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