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In recent years there has been an explosion of curiosity and debate about Islam and about the role of religion, both in the world and in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The numerous books published on these questions speak to issues of politics, history, or global security. None speaks to the heart and the spirit, and yet millions of people experience these issues not as political, economic, or intellectual questions but as questions of deep spiritual, emotional, and religious significance.
The Tent of Abraham provides readers with stories that can bring all the faiths together. Written by Saadi Shakur Chishti, a Scottish American Sufi, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, an American Jew, and Joan Chittister, a Benedictine sister, the book explores in accessible language the mythic quality and the teachings of reconciliation that are embedded in the Torah, the Qur'an, and the Bible. It also weaves together the wisdoms of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions into a deeper, more unified whole.
The Tent of Abraham is the first book to tell the whole story of Abraham as found in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources and to reenergize it as a basis for peace.
"At a time when we have seen too much certainty [of dogmatic faith], The Tent of Abraham reminds us that the kind of confusion, fear, and dismay that so many of us are experiencing can be the start of a new religious quest . . . The Tent of Abraham brings three religious traditions together so that we may all become more familiar with the faiths lived by the strangers around us."--Karen Armstrong, from the Foreword
Rabbi Arthur Waskow is the director of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia and author of numerous books, including Seasons of Our Joy (Beacon/ 3611-0/ $18.00 pb) and Down-to-Earth Judaism. Joan Chittister, OSB, is a best-selling writer and lecturer. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. Saadi Shakur Chishti (Neil Douglas-Klotz) is an internationally known Sufi scholar and writer. His most recent book is The Sufi Book of Life.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, one of the authors of The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims is the "weaver" of a new haggadah or "telling" for Passover. It is called "The Passover of Peace: A Seder for the Children of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah."
This Seder is built on the Biblical and Muslim stories of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, rather than on the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It has been and can be used as a context for thought and action toward peace in the Middle East, by Jewish families, congregations, and communities; by groups of Jews and Palestinians or Jews and Muslims: or by groups of all three Abrahamic faiths.
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Joan Chittister, OSB, is a best-selling writer and lecturer. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Contributor Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz) has a website at www.abwoon.com, for the Abwoon Study Circle. This site focuses on his research, study and publication in the areas of Middle Eastern mysticism and peacemaking. "Abwoon" is an Aramaic word for the power of the Universe to give birth to new life every instant. His institutional website is the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org).
Rabbi Arthur Waskow is the director of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia and author of numerous books, including Seasons of Our Joy and Down-to-Earth Judaism.
The three coauthors, representing the three major Western faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), explain each religion's basis for a monotheistic multifaith movement by delving into ancient stories. Waskow, a rabbi, offers intellectual perspective on the Abrahamic story, explaining symbolic themes of Judaism. The Torah, for instance, is said to have been written with "black fire on white fire": The white fire is the blank spaces, where Jews of each generation are meant to read and reread the language contained in the black fire. Catholic sister and popular writer Chittister describes the Middle East conflict with compelling anecdotes from her own firsthand experience in founding an Israeli-Palestinian women's group. Finally, Sufi writer Chishti discusses the spiritual content and opinions related to Islam. The authors explore provocative questions, such as which son Abraham meant to sacrifice (Isaac, ancestor of the Jews, or Ishmael, ancestor of the Muslims) and the nature of the relationship between Sarah and Hagar: were they devoted friends, rivals or simply property of Abraham? Evoking the "open tent" policy of Abraham, who welcomed all visitors to his home despite social mores, the coauthors air out all options. (July)
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