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Interfaith Encounters in America Paperback – March 26, 2007

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Interfaith Encounters in America + Beyond Tolerance: How People Across America Are Building Bridges Between Faiths + The Im-Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue
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Editorial Reviews


"The book offers an expanding mosaic of arenas in which interfaith contacts are now occurring, and their impact on American life--an excellent read." -- Wade Clark Roof, University of California at Santa Barbara

"While much has been written about the theory and method of interreligious dialogue, McCarthy offers something different: a picture, both encouraging and sobering, of what's really going on as people from different religious communities throughout the U.S. talk together and work together." -- Paul F. Knitter, Paul Tillich Chair of Theology, World Religions, and Culture, Union Theological Seminary

About the Author

Kate McCarthy is an associate professor of religious studies at California State University, Chico.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (March 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813540305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813540306
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Barnett on July 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Kate McCarthy, associate professor of religious studies at Chico State University, has done us all a great service in her survey of "Interfaith Encounters in America" ($[...] in paperback from Rutgers University Press). Her research led her to examine several interfaith Web sites (including [...]), conduct interviews with 14 people "involved in interfaith partnerships" and compare the Chico Area Interfaith Council with the more urban Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. Prefaced by an examination of scholarly work on the way religions see the "other," the book is generous, deeply honest and marvelously readable.

"Interfaith projects & bring Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Pagans and others into conversation. But more subtly, they also expose the internal diversity of each of these traditions. In Chico & one Catholic church participates in the interfaith organization, another does not.

"As a Roman Catholic Christian," McCarthy writes, "I am also acutely aware of being a woman, which makes me in many ways an alien in my own tradition. & At the same time, I also inhabit, among other things, feminism and American political liberalism." Those who participate in interfaith community groups tend toward progressive politics and liberal religion. More conservative religious leaders, such as evangelical pastor Larry Lane of Chico's Neighborhood Church, tend to stay away. Why? McCarthy's long interview with Lane leads her to conclude that interfaith groups suffer from a perception problem. The reality is that "most members of community interfaith groups do not espouse the kind of pluralism that deems all religions equal or essentially the same.
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