Great Reads

Some of the following books will expand your knowledge of the interfaith approach.  Others will give you some profound - and at times very beautiful - insights into the unifying treads and 'eternal truths', which run through all of the world's faith traditions. 

Do I Kneel or Do I Bow: what you need to know when attending religious occasions - Angela Lonsdale

In today’s multicultural society we are increasingly likely to meet and become friends with people from different religious backgrounds, and to find ourselves attending an unfamiliar ceremony. When this happens, there can be few of us who know exactly what to expect, or are confident about how to behave.

This book will help you: to understand the backgrounds to the key festivals, ceremonies, and practices of the major world religions, participate in the main holidays and festivals of the different religious calendars, know what to expect and how to behave when invited to attend a Protestant, Catholic, Christian Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist service, join in the family celebrations of friends from different backgrounds.  Armed with this basic information, you will feel relaxed enough to enjoy the occasion–and perhaps inspired to discover more about the spiritual world view of another cultural tradition.

A Quiet Revolution: the emergence of interfaith consciousness - Peter Kirkwood.
'From Asia to America, the Middle East to the Pacific, the interfaith movement is a driving force behind a surging revolution in belief. Kirkwood investigates the growth of interfaith communications in a time of deep transformation.  This book introduces some of the key thinkers and activists spearheading interfaith dialogue - a Jewish Rabbi, Roman Catholic Priest, Muslim iman, a Korean Christian theologian - 'quiet revolutionaries', the organisations around the world, and the ideas of accepting difference and variety that are part   of broader and increasingly essential interfaith networks'

Seeking the Sacred: transforming our view of ourselves and one another - Stephanie Dowrick

In this book, Stephanie Dowrick allows us to go 'beyond cultural divisions and religious cliches to discover what makes our lives sacred, satisfying and meaningful'. Through personal reflection, the shared stories of others, and beautiful insights drawn from a range of different faith traditions, she shows how 'the sacred can transform the way we understand and value life, changing forever how we interact with others and care for ourselves'.

Towards the True Kinship of Faiths: how the world's religions can come together - The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama believes that the, ‘essential task of humanity in the 21st century, must be to cultivate peaceful coexistence'.  In this book, he shows how in, ‘our globalised world, nations, cultures and individuals can find opportunities to connect'. Comparing teachings and doctrines to highlight how many of the world faiths espouse and, ‘turn to compassion as a guiding principle for living a good life’, the Dalai Lama encourages,‘people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to help develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths'.  The insights offered in this important book assist us in that goal.

The Great Transformations: the beginning of our religious traditions - Karen Armstrong

In this insightful book, Karen Armstrong traces 'the development of the Axial Age, examining the contributions of figures such as the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Upanishad mystics, Mencius and Euripides.  All of the 'Axial' faiths began in recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time.  Despite some differences of emphasis, there was remarkable consensus in their call for abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion...In each Axial Age case, a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be a major catalyst of spiritual change'.  In her book, Armstrong shows how the sages from this 'pivotal Age, speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own time'.

Unifying Truths of the World's Religions: principles for living and loving in peace - C. Lundberg

This 'exhaustively researched book demonstrates that it's the principles that every major faith tradition holds in common - the unifying truths - that have the power and promise to bring us together instead of driving us apart.  With over 800 quotations from sacred texts organised in an easy to understand way, this book reveals the simple but powerful philosophy that takes shape from the world's universal truths.  Regardless of your faith or world view, this inspiring book will empower you to enjoy, and share, a life of greater meaning, joy and inner peace.'
A World of Prayer - Rosalind Bradley
In this unique collection, nearly a hundred prominent men and women from every religious tradition and region of the world share a favorite prayer and offer their own reflections on its meaning. The contributors include Nobel Peace Prize winners Lech Walesa of Poland, Mairead Corrigan of Ireland, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of South Africa, as well as the Dalai Lama, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick, theologian Hans K√ľng, and well-loved spiritual writers Richard Rohr and Joan Chittister. Artists and musicians such as Pete Seeger and Yusuf Islam are also included, along with many more who share prayers and reflections sure to resonate with readers of all faiths. The prayers include classic and familiar texts from every religious tradition. But some of the selections are surprisingly personal, offering a glimpse into the heart of many great souls of our time.

Unbounded Light: the inward journey - William Williams

In this anthology, 'fifteen tales of inner light are gathered from the ancient scriptural texts of the three major religions, first person accounts from sages and mystics throughout history and the corroborative evidence of modern science.  The stories centre around two great mysteries - light and consciousness. From a great diversity of cultures, ages, languages and perspectives, they present a common tale - the human encounter with inner light is a very real experience'.

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