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Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Abrahamic Dialogues) [Paperback]

James L. Heft
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 15, 2007 0823226484 978-0823226481
From the beginning, the Abrahamic faiths-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-have stressed the importance of transmitting religious identity from one generation to the next. Today, that sustaining mission has never been more challenged. Will young people have a faith to guide them? How can faith traditions anchor religious attachments in this secular, skeptical culture?The fruit of a historic gathering of scholars and religious leaders across three faiths and many disciplines, this important book reports on the religious lives of young people in today's world. It's also a unique inventory of creative and thoughtful responses from churches, synagogues, and mosques working to keep religion a significant force in those lives.The essays are grouped thematically. Opening the book, Melchor Sanchez de Toca and Nancy Ammerman explore fundamental issues that have an impact on religion-from the cultural effects of global consumerism and personal technology to pluralism and individualism. In Part Two, leading investigators present three leading studies of religiosity among young people and college students in the United States, illuminating the gap between personal values and organized religion-and the emergence of new, different forms of spirituality and faith. How religious institutions deal with these challenges forms the heart of the book-in portraits of best practicesdeveloped to revitalize traditional institutions, from a synagogue in New York City and a Muslim youth camp in California to the famed French Catholic community of the late Brother John of Taiz. Finally, Jack Miles and Diane Winston weave the findings into a broader perspective of the future of religious belief, practice, and feeling in a changing world.Filled with real-world wisdom, Passing the Faith will be an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand what religions must, and can, do to inspire a vigorous faith in the next generation.

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Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Abrahamic Dialogues) + Introducing Theologies of Religions
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In addition to all the success stories in Passing on the Faith, there is also a lot of concern about cultural circumstances that challenge the communication and formation of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim identity--including the circumstances of religious diversity and pluralism. . ." -- Commonweal, September 14, 2007

". . .An excellent resource the should be read by anyone interested in youth and the continuity of religious tradition." -- America, October 15, 2007

"Particularly helpful for those of us who are trying to think through the meaning of emerging adulthood for communities of faith." -- Books & Culture, December 2007

About the Author


James L. Heft, S.M., is President and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and University Professor of Faith and Culture and Chancellor, University of Dayton. He edited Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals and Beyond Violence: Religious Sources for Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam for Fordham.

Product Details

  • Series: Abrahamic Dialogues (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823226484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823226481
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Of very limited interest October 9, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a big disappointment for me. I see the corrosive effects of secularism everywhere and, as someone who has just started a family, I was looking for answers but there just weren't any. It's methodology was to find successful congregations and try to summarise what they all had in common. It's a good starting point, but I found that the right questions simply weren't asked like: Of children born into this congregation, what percentage will grow into practising adults? How many converts do they make from no religion/nominal belief?

The authors worked with the assumption that being a conservative or a liberal makes no difference in success rates of passing on the faith. I have observed this to be false since I was a child and all the research backs me up.

Family life is the single biggest factor in a child's decision to accept of renounce his faith yet this was completely ignored. This omission indicates that the authors really don't "get it".

I gave this book 2 stars rather than 1 so there must be some redeeming features. And there were, such as the original research into attitudes of teenagers and college students. The chapter by the conservative Rabbi was of value where he said that the focus of liturgy HAS to be prayer--not programs, not outreach activities, not men's groups--but prayer. A similar theme emerged from Taize. Any worship has to be God-centred not man-centred. I have observed that the anthropocentric shift in Catholic worship (I'm a Catholic) in the past 40 years has had devastating consequences all over the western world with 2 generations all-but lost to the faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT buy September 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
small cut on cover - probably from opening boxes. A topic of great personal interest at a fantastically reduced price ($2.00)
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5.0 out of 5 stars exemplifies Hans Kung's call for religious dialogue March 2, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fr. Heft's book is a provocative call to find effective ways of reaching young adults with the treasures of the great monotheistic religions. It both warns against superficial methods and calls to substantive, communitarian methods that will give young adults a sense of ownership and religious identity. I found the essays by authorities in Jewish, Christian and Muslim ministry to be insightful and promising. As a teacher of theology in a Catholic high school I came away from a study of these essays with a deeper understanding of my own ministry and a deeper respect for the ministries of my Jewish and Muslim brethren. I think Fr. Heft's book perfectly exemplifies Hans Kung's call for dialogue among religion. I strongly recommend this book to those interested in pastoral theology and inter-religious dialogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars must reading for all who work with today's youth January 20, 2007
Format:Paperback
Fr. James Heft's most recent anthology of important and timely papers addresses the challenge that the major religious faiths have, especially regarding the sharing of religious faith with today's youth.

I found the inspiring chapter on the amazing Taize community to be the most moving and invigorating section of the book, the kind of presentation that can make former teachers and preachers wish they could be working again with today's youth [Generation Next]. I can't help feel that if all worshipping communities could be like Taize, we might even have peace in the world. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

There is in the book also an overly academic presentation by a Catholic theologian, but the remainder of the book presents lively and practical prestations from differnet faiths, offering real data and important survey results reflecting the beliefs of today's youth. There are descriptions of experiments in progress, as well established approaches to reaching youth today. This volume might be the academic and pastoral answer to Judy Woodword's forthcoming book on the attitude of "Generation Next."

I would love to join in any disucssion of Fr. Jim's work as it touches on essential problems that are behind today's key issues, from [un]just war and lack of charismatic leadership, to youth and the retro versus progresive church debates.
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