Many months ago, RevGalBlogPals received an e-mail from Priscilla Warner, one of the authors of The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew--Three Women Search for Understanding, suggesting we might be interested in the book and adding that we had a sort of Faith Club going ourselves!
Born out of a desire for mutual understanding in the wake of 9/11, The Faith Club describes the growing relationship between the three authors: Warner, Ranya Idilby and Suzanne Oliver. Along the way in their journey together they faced challenges and misunderstandings, but they came back together, over and over, to discuss what they believed and felt, even when they weren't completely sure of the details of their own religions.
This may be a difficult book for clergy or well-educated laypeople to read, to get past wanting to explain Christianity, in particular, from one's own context. I have very little direct or academic experience with Islam, so I was able to accept Ranya's point of view without wondering why the heck she thought such-and-such, and although I am more knowledgeable about Judaism, Priscilla's point-of-view had much in common with both what I learned in a seminary class and my many years of friendship with an observant Conservative Jewish family.
I know one of our ring members, Teri, raised questions in a post on her blog about the materials at the back of the book, particularly those about Christianity, and wondered if this also meant she needed to question the explanations of Islam and Judaism?
On the whole, I was impressed that the conversation continued even when things got touchy. I'm not sure we're good at this in our churches, even when we are based in one belief system! The thing that kept The Faith Club together seemed to be the care for each other the three women developed, not in spite of their differences, but inclusive of them.
I hope those of you who read the book will chime in with your thoughts.