On Wednesday this week here on the blog, I told you about the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler and his efforts to create better relations between Christians and Muslims.
It's World Religions and Contemporary Issues, by Brennan R. Hill, an emeritus professor at Xavier University.
The first thing the author does is provide a careful overview of each of the religions he focuses on: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There are lots of books about comparative religion studies that include the kind of information Hill offers, but Hill is using this information to build a base on which to create working relationships on several major global issues: ecology, peace and women.
In addition to excellent information about the faith traditions themselves, there is useful information about how each faith approaches these issues and, thus, how adherents of the different traditions might work together without slamming up against each other in destructive ways.
Beyond that, the author gives readers a series of links to various YouTube videos to help them understand in more details the issues under consideration and how the various religions approach them.
"Today," Hill writes, "religions are becoming more involved in world issues and are attemption to reasses their beliefs and values so that they can be active players in global concerns, especially in the areas of economy, peace and women's issues."
Even if readers simply use this book as a primer on these five important religions they will find this book valuable. But it will be more useful if they read it with people of other faith traditions and work with them to get involved in the issues Hill outlines.
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A GOAL-LINE STANCE VS. MODERNITY
What's the next fight in the U.S. Supreme Court over Obamacare really all about? This columnist suggests it's part of the culture war, but not over religion or women but, rather, modernity. I believe Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times is on to something.
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P.S.: In this holiday time of year, faith communities are especially engaged in providing food for the hungry in various ways. The director of faith outreach for the Humane Society of the U.S. has this timely message for ways in which such communities also can help feed the pets of needy families. In a land of relative plenty, which this is, we should not be forced to choose between feeding humans and feeding their pets. We can do both. The article offers good ways to get engaged.