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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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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
" 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."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Many times we wait for seismic changes in the social landscape before we are ready to embrace those who are "other", and we often remain skeptical about whether there is anything to discuss with people who see the world very differently. Niebuhr has written from personal experience--following his own direct experience of the attacks of 9/11--about people who have been quietly working at the local level across the country and world to build bridges across cultural and religious divides. In other words, the dialogue, the responsiveness not only can happen but has been happening around us for decades. Niebuhr speaks with the quiet confidence of one who has traveled around talking with those who work actively to surmount prejudice and fanaticism, to build peaceful community. Speaking religiously, to do this one must be willing to give up the disrespect implied in evangelism--that one's own religious stance is necessarily so superior that it is not worth listening to and conversing seriously with the other. Niebuhr argues convincingly that the dialogue need not lead to any sort of syncretism--one need not surrender one's convictions or dilute one's faith in order to listen seriously and even to witness from one's own stance. Numerous examples illustrate the listening and sharing as they have been and are happening.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I studied Reinhold Niebuhr (Gustav's grandfather) in college. This is an excellent study of inter-religion relations moving in the right direction.Published 5 months ago by William E. Farragher
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". Read morePublished on October 3, 2009 by Tax Accountant