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God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Paperback – April 30, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“God of Love celebrates the mystical and social justice teachings of the world's three monotheistic traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is a passionate defense of the hidden and often unacknowledged treasures of these complex and volatile paths.”—Spirituality & Practice, Awarded one of S&P’s Best Spiritual Books of 2012

“Maybe if Starr were less of a storyteller, her style would be less invitational, but she writes about the three Abrahamic religions as a woman in love, not as a tenure-hungry prof. The result, bearing the brilliance of her surname, plaits a strong braid from the essences of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: God is love. She writes about the three Abrahamic religions as a woman in love, not as a tenure-hungry prof.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“The radiance of this book lies in the heartfelt and intelligent way it constructs a bridge not only between the three religious traditions but, equally important, a bridge between the moments when we recognize and know this God of love in our own lives and the moments when that love becomes invisible—obscured by clouds of anger, disbelief, sorrow, or despair.”—Tikkun.org

“Mirabai Starr’s new book, God of Love – A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, will be disconcerting to many in an arena that seems sometimes to have been written to death – the complexities of the Abrahamic faiths. The interconnections Starr explores seem novel but obvious at first. As the interconnections accumulate, though, familiar sacred texts become powerful and compelling in new ways, a source of hope for those who’ve concluded that Abrahamic violence is forever intractable.”—The Interfaith Observer

“As a writer Starr is bold and daring and her love for God comes leaping off the pages. Her enthusiasm is so great, it’s hard not to get caught up in it.”—Patheos.com

About the Author

MIRABAI STARR is an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos. As a teenager, Starr lived at the Lama Foundation, an intentional spiritual community that has honored all the world’s faith traditions since its inception in 1967. At Lama she encountered many of the leading teachers and timeless traditions of diverse spiritual paths: Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, Jewish, Christian, and Native American. This ecumenical experience was formative in the universal quality that has infused her work ever since. Starr is best known to readers for her acclaimed translations of Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Avila.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983358923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983358923
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Perez on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mirabai has written a stirring and elegant book that combines scholarship and memoir and soul, a journey not only about her, but a guide for us. Using quotes from the three monotheistic religions and other holy texts - and also Einstein! - the author shows us how to embrace the ordinary, how to accept the gift of stillness, and how, through sacred service, we can "circle the reciprocity. " A book to keep by your bedside.
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Format: Paperback
In short, I loved this book.
In length, read on...
As a staunch atheist, I questioned myself greatly in picking up this book. Why would I want to get anywhere near a book that has "God" in the title? Well...I reason...it says "God of LOVE" which maybe, just maybe, might be interesting. I'm not a callous, mean, bitter atheist, but a humanist with Pagan roots and a little girl who brings me unworldly joy. I might find this interesting. The truth is, I heard Ms. Starr speak in a lecture some years ago and the way she spoke was so captivating and inviting that I was intrigued enough to spend about as much as a pepperoni pizza costs on a book, a spiritual book at that. All that said, I cried three times by the time I had reached page thirty three. I forgot all about the word God and looked past the references to the Koran, Torah, and Bible and simply read the words that were written in the juicy, select, sections chosen by Ms. Starr and was enraptured. Who knew such tenderness lurked beneath such dense, controversial texts? Perhaps many, but not me.
Ms. Starr turns a phrase like dipping succulent strawberries in chocolate fondue. She speaks of God and Love and many amazing individuals, like a woman would speak about her lover, intimate, passionate, and with radiating warmth and sweetness. I found myself surprised, page after page, at my own feelings ignited by her testimonies of connection of the three "Abrahamic" faiths that she uses as a base for her focus. As I personally do not feel a strong connection to any of them, I read them for what they were not what I expected them to be, and was subsequently able to absorb their wisdom for what they were--stand alone. And although I was surprised at the wisdom I was able to glean from Ms.
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Format: Paperback
Prof Starr took the very real risk, in her new book comparing the three Abrahamic religions, of being labeled a fuzzy headed "New Ager" from "hippie Taos, NM," all too ready to find 'peace and love and warmth' in both the bitterly fought semantics, and the gory self serving histories, of the monotheistic faiths she explores.

So, strikingly, not only does she emerge free from the stereotypes that lesser minds might (superficially) invoke from her background, she blesses us with an astonishingly hard headed, precise, scholarly rigorous, tough, and perhaps most pleasing of all, considering the antediluvian libraries of commentary on her subject matter, she rewards us with a delightfully fresh take on what some of us had imagined was material only available for buzzards -- or creatively castrated tenure track academics.

Kudos to Mirabai. More than anything, more than anything significant in what her scholarship might synthesize, and more than anything gorgeous in the mental marvels she reflects, is that she... inspires; Prof Starr inspires us in ways we thought we had become too cynical to confess. In a global culture now given to a (falsely rendered) 'triple crown' of the major faiths now engaged in beastly, and often seemingly despairing, terror, -- Prof Starr delivers hope, and inspiration, and yes, to those of us who thought we had become too abject to use such a word, but use it I shall now, she has given us 'love' -- the word also so appropriately used in her title "The God of Love." Thank you, Mirabai, and May God Always Bless You & Love You.
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Format: Paperback
"God of Love" celebrates the wisdom teachings of the Abrahamic traditions with a reverence that is both solemn and joyful, but never sanctimonious or sentimental.

Starr's prose is unpretentious because it emanates from an authentic humility, that hard-fought-for kind of humility that only comes from surviving pain and grief. You immediately get the sense that Starr is writing from the inside out, with a rare combination of courage and grace that ultimately leads to equanimity. She understands how to navigate the tough territory of irony and paradox because life has driven her down roads that most people would fear to travel.

The comprehensive scholarship describing the relationship of the three Abrahamic traditions is all there in the text -- but it's not dead on arrival. Wisdom teachings are enlivened by intimate and affecting stories that are at once poignant yet emotionally uplifting ... tragic and triumphant.

In one of the most compelling and entertaining passages, Starr writes:

"Little by little, the tragedies and comedies of the human predicament wore away the veneer of entitlement, and I began to find my place in the messy web of life ... I no longer wore my story like a badge. I peeled off the whole damned uniform and went around naked."

"God of Love" is an exquisite blend of spiritual insight and bold-faced biography, and a sheer joy to read.
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