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When Faiths Collide 1st Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1405112239
ISBN-10: 1405112239
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Editorial Reviews


"When I teach courses at this level I always include religious diversity. Martin Marty's recent text, When Faiths Collide, provides a good entry into this topic on three fronts: by drawing on history, theology, scripture and the intersection of religion with politics, medicine and other fields, Marty reinforces my claim to students that our discipline is polymethodical."
Journal of Teaching Theology and Religion <!--end-->

“This is a marvellous accomplishment… When Faiths Collide is an original and fresh contribution to the discussion of religious “otherness” (the stranger in our midst) as it has unfolded in the aftermath of September 11.” Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame

“An essential read.” Journal of Religion

“In his typically comprehensive way, Martin Marty kindly gives all sides a hearing, eager to make sure every position is fairly represented with its nuance.”
Word and World

Book Description

Collisions of faiths are among the most threatening conflicts around the world. In the face of these conflicts, this manifesto is a call to embrace religious pluralism. Tackling people's fears of religious pluralism, the author demonstrates that citizens, religions, and identities can in fact survive in radically pluralist settings. He argues that the first address to communities involved in collisions of faith should not be the conventional plea for tolerance, but a call that at least one party risk hospitality toward the other. The book deals with conflicts that affect or occur within those nations whose polities can be called republican, open, democratic, liberal or free, particularly the UK, the US, and Western Europe. Martin Marty is a renowned commentator on religious matters. He has written over 50 books, has won the National Book Award among numerous other honors, and has received 74 honorary doctorates.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (December 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405112239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405112239
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,495,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tedd Steele on August 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the contemporary context, when conflicts between people of different faiths abound, we must deal with pluralism. Due to many different factors, the faiths of the world are colliding more now than ever. Moreover, they are coming into conflict not only in the internationl arena, but also down the block and within families. There are many ways to deal with the issue of pluralism, ranging from isolation and hostility to relativism. Dr. Marty suggests that we address civic pluralism by offering hospitality to the stranger. Rather than tolerance, where the "belonger" retains power over the "stranger," hospitality forces people of faith to risk opening themselves to the other.

This book is wonderful first step. It does not argue for a utopian pipedream, but rather a practical means through which we can get along. Through hospitality we will find that faiths do not lose their distinctiveness, but are strengthened by both external and internal critique.
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Format: Paperback
There is a fine distinction between a review and a response, and I want to walk that line. This book is a valuable contribution to the current discussion on how religions relate to each other.

As is characteristic of Marty, he marshalls studies, reports, and personal anecdotes to make his point. In brief, that point is that tolerance preserves the problems of intolerance. By tolerating, I retain my hold on the truth, and reduce to other to an image I understand and control.

Marty's "manifesto" here is that we should "risk hospitality" in relating to the "other/stranger." This hospitality, according to his "domestic analogy," involves inviting the stranger into my home, but not altering the religious articles and icons I display. I invite the other without changing. Marty describes hospitality as engaging the other, feeding him/her, talking, and most of all sharing stories. The experience may or may not change me.

While I admire this effort, I wonder if Marty's description of hospitality really goes far enough. The risk, to me, seems minimal. If we compare his definition of hospitality to that of Jacques Derrida in "Philosophy in a Time of Terror," or anywhere he discusses his concept of cosmopolitanism, Marty seems to fail to escape the realm of tolerance.

For Derrida, the risk of hospitality must risk everything, putting no conditions on who may arrive, or what may happen.

Nevertheless, Marty's book is well worth reading and an important contribution to interfaith conversation.

May we risk more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our Ecumenical Reading Group, which consists of retired clergy of various faiths, and also a couple of educated laymen, selected this book after reading about it on Amazon. Several previous readers had given it a thumbs up. Our group was totally disappointed with it. While there is no doubt that Martin Marty is a noted scholar, we found his writing here almost unintelligable -- at least for most readers. He likes to use big words whenever possible, even some totally unfamiliar terms to all of us who have Masters and Doctorate degrees. There were times when we simply shook our heads and wondering what in the world he was trying to say.When we finished the book, we all agreed that Marty could have delivered his thoughts on the subject in one short phrase, rather than take an entire volume to do so. That phrase was uttered many years ago by a fellow we all remember out in California -- Rodney King, when he summed it all up by saying, "Why can't we all get along?"
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