A double book review: "Not in God's Name" by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and "The Book of Lemuel" by Mette Harrison. Both challenge dualistic interpretations of scripture that separate a righteous Us and a wicked Them.
11th century Christian from England disguises himself as a Jew so he can train as a physician in a Persian hospital. Historical fiction at its best! It captures an era that I wish we engaged with more.
At the height of anti-Muslim sentiment during the Crusades, Saint Francis discovered the divine mystery of universal brotherhood: Islam too was part of God's pleasure. In our post 9/11 world, Saint Francis is an example of inter-religious dialogue that I hope we can all rediscover.
Your knowledge of the Muslim World was probably Disney's Aladdin before 9/11. Then it became limited to the daily news cycle of the "war on terror." How did such a rich and diverse civilization become relegated to the dustbin of history? Ansary does a masterful job of putting modern conflicts in their historical context from Babylon to the Six Day War.
The Prophet is another book I serendipitously stumbled upon, this time through a reference in another book I recently read. The book When Breath Becomes Air is a memoir of a written by a man as he is dying of cancer. The author is a Catholic, and the book reflects at times upon his spiritual... Continue Reading →