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Five Voices Five Faiths: An Interfaith Primer


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In this unique book about the major religious traditions of the world, a practitioner from each tradition—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam—introduces the basics of his or her faith and participates in a conversation about the challenges of being faithful in the modern world. Each essay and conversation is followed by a list of suggestions for further reading. Written for the non–specialist, Five Voices Five Faiths is an accessible book in which neighbors honor both our differences and our common bonds.

Some may say that my only obligation to other non-Christian believers is to preach the good news of God in Christ Jesus. They may also believe that participating in interfaith dialogue and relationship, by the very nature of the task, causes me to disobey the gospel mandate to go into the world and make disciples of all people. I understand the position, and for much of my life subscribed to it. But today, as a middle-aged woman, with grown children and aging parents, another line from the Christian gospels compels me. Today, I reflect more deeply on the new commandment Jesus gave, to love one another as he has loved us. In order to be obedient to that commandment, I understand myself to be required to participate in conversations in which I am not afforded the last word or the luxury of full agreement, compliance, or conversion. This love requires that I involve myself in the lives of others, even when my most basic human instinct is to run, to hide, and to avoid the unfamiliar. The love that Jesus commands of me requires that I, as he has done before me, kindle and engender deep relationships with those others: the outcast, the unfamiliar, the different, and the very ones that we presume constitute the greatest threat to our institutional and cultural norms.
—from the Introduction, by Amanda Millay Hughes

This erudite paperback offers a fine example of the virtues of the spiritual practice of hospitality in interfaith adventures.

The reader is left with the delightful feeling of having been gently and warmly introduced to something of personally deep, enduring, and intimate value.

Product Details

  • Title : Five Voices Five Faiths: An Interfaith Primer
  • Author: Hughes, Amanda Milly
  • Publisher: Cowley Publications
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • ISBN: 9781461660583

Anantanand Rambachan is professor of religion and philosophy at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota.

Yaakov Ariel grew up in Jerusalem and teaches at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Patricia Phelan, Taitaku Sensei, is Abbess of the Chapel Hill Zen Center, a Buddhist temple and Zen meditation center in North Carolina.

Amanda Millay Hughes is director of special projects at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Lost and Found.

Amy Nelson is a nationally recognized freelance radio journalist who lives in Durham, North Carolina.


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