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Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America (The Documents of 20th-century art) Hardcover – July 31, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: The Documents of 20th-century art
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (July 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670019569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670019564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Niebuhr, the former religion reporter for the New York Times, is now a professor at Syracuse University. This makes his book immensely valuable: he has the careful scholarship of an academic, but the communication expertise of a journalist skilled at getting to the personal heart of a story. Not long after 9/11, Niebuhr set out to find and tell the largely untold stories of those who are involved in interreligious dialogue: why do they do it? what do they gain from it? what do they risk? True dialogue, as the title claims, means moving beyond tolerance, approaching other religious traditions with a desire to learn and, perhaps more important, to make friends. Niebuhr tells memorable stories of people reaching across religious lines, from a group of Cape Cod Congregationalists who gave a Jewish community a historic building, some land and some money to create a synagogue to the energetic individuals who founded Louisville's famous Festival of Faiths. Niebuhr beautifully honors the commitment and care shown by those working on the front lines of interreligious understanding. (Aug. 4)
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Review

"Gustav Niebuhr's remarkable and absorbing Beyond Tolerance comes at a time when religious fanaticism, with its perversion and violence, has emerged as a threat to civilization. Anyone involved or at least interested in dialogue among individuals, communities, and nations, will benefit from its wisdom and humanity."
—Elie Wiesel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gustav Niebuhr worked as a newspaper journalist for 21 years, the last eight at The New York Times, covering religion (and its intersection with many other subjects). Since 2004, he has taught as an associate professor at Syracuse University, based in its S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
It's a great message, and the stories are really uplifting.
Tax Accountant
When differences can be set aside in deference to the common good and the shared values of diverse faiths, amazing things can happen.
Dan R. Dick
It is a short book (only 213 pages) and it is a very easy read.
Junaid M. Afeef

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dan R. Dick on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every once in awhile a book transcends paper, ink, and binding to paint a picture. Niebuhr's book does just that -- casting a vision for interfaith understanding and issuing a challenge to engage in a transformative dialogue -- to move beyond the boundaries that limit and constrain us. Our future health, vitality, and sustainability as a global culture lies in collaboration and connection that is greater than any one religious faith or belief system. Too often modern religion is framed in divisive, destructive, and dysfunctional terms, with little regard to the essence of the good, the beautiful, and the true that undergird every major faith. When differences can be set aside in deference to the common good and the shared values of diverse faiths, amazing things can happen. Niebuhr offers an invitation into a new way of being 'religious' in a complex, chaotic, and often contentious world. This is a recommended read for every person of faith who desires to see our world become a place of peace, justice, mercy, and love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Junaid M. Afeef on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gustav Niebuhr is an engaging writer. He has a wealth of experience on the subject of religion in America drawn from his personal life and then his professional life (as a journalist first and then from the Academy). "Beyond Tolerance: Search for Interfaith Understanding in America" is a solid resource for those engaged in interfaith dialogue.

What Makes this a good book?

Niebuhr draws from his personal experiences as a religion writer for the New York Times in order to analyze interfaith dialogue in America. "Beyond Tolerance" is a combination of a personal account and a researched/surveyed academic analysis. This unique perspective makes the book engaging and readable while providing very useful facts, resources and insights as well. Niebuhr's personal opinions are included in "Beyond Tolerance" but he distinguishes them from facts.

It is a short book (only 213 pages) and it is a very easy read. While it has six (6) chapters and a conclusion, the preface, introduction, notes and bibliography are integral to the book. The preface and introduction help set the right expectations for the reader by disclosing Niebuhr's personal and professional background, his personal religious affiliation and his own attitude towards interfaith dialogue. Niebuhr notes that he was raised in an observant Christian home where prayer was a part of his family's dail life. Interestingly but not surprisingly he notes that as part of his religious Christian upbringing he was taught that he

"shared the world with a great variety of religious (and nonreligious) identities, all of which belonged to people who deserved as much respect as we ourselves would want."

The notes and bibliography are wonderful resources for additional reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Konkle on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Beyond Tolerance" is an excellent book for a church adult study group. We are thoroughly enjoying it at our Congregational church and would recommend that you consider it for your group. It is very pertinent for our times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tax Accountant on October 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a slim volume, less than 250 pages, but the author has a point to make: "Yes, we can all get along and care for one another, even though we are all of different faiths". This book is a call to our humanity (and humility).

This book is very readable, and has numerous stories of people of different faiths coming together to help each other in times of great need. I didn't feel that this book was overtly political at all. In fact, I felt the author was using these stories as a means to say that we all have a responsibility, as human beings, to lift each other up, help one another, and just reach across all of our differences and unite to make the world a better place for all of us.

It's a great message, and the stories are really uplifting. I really enjoyed this book.
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