Kelly James Clark – Abraham’s Children

Kelly James Clark edited an interesting collection of essays and articles on liberty and tolerance in an age of religious conflicts: Abraham’s Children. Why can’t Jews, Muslims and Christians live in peace together since they believe in the same God? At least, that’s the question former US president Jimmy Carter asks. Other contributors go deeper, from a Jewish point of view, based on Torah, Talmud and Midrash or Christian background. Philosophers, politicians, relief workers share their perspectives in Abraham’s Children.

15 views from a variety of influential folks like Rabbis for Human Rights frontman Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Indonesia’s first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, Israeli language and education professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan, American philospher Nicholas Wolterstorff, Palestinian Christian publisher, activist and politician Hanna Siniora and Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini: Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The contributors celebrate religious traditions and find within them a way toward mutual peace (a middle way), uncompromised liberty, and principled tolerance. Offering a counterbalance to incendiary religious leaders who cite Holy Writ to justify intolerance and violence, the contributors reveal how tolerance and respect for believers in other faiths stand at the core of the Abrahamic traditions. Think of replacement of the intolerance in the Israeli education on recent history and non-Jews, humanity in the image of God and islamic treatises on tolerance and divine mercy. There’s room for pain, anger, frustration, forgiveness and wisdom. Tolerance isn’t indifference or respect, as practiced in many European countries. Love the other just as yourself as Jesus Christ put as second commandment, next to Love God, the two comprising all Laws & Prophets of the Old Testament. Some refer to their Bible or Qur’an, Wolterstorff seeks wisdom with Augustine and John Calvin, others like Hanna Siniora just recite their historical encounters.

Kelly James Clark is Senior Research Fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is author or editor of more than twenty books, including The Story of Ethics (2002) and Return to Reason (1990). Check the videos to this book on Youtube.

I received a complimentary ebook from NetGalley for my honest review.