The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew – Three Women Search for Understanding
by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner.
Epiphany library section 7A: The Church in the World, World Religions.
After 9/11, these three New York City mothers met to create a story book for their children’s school about different faiths. Though they did this, their interfaith conversations over several years led to an even more impressive result: this book.
At first, their conversations were uncomfortable. Ranya, the Muslim, felt that people thought that all Muslims were terrorists. Priscilla, the Jewish woman, was fearful of another terrorist attack. Suzanne, the Christian, was hiding an unconscious anti-Semitism that Priscilla picked up on quickly.
But over time, they began to see the others not just as symbols of other faiths but as women with unique approaches to belief. There were fewer accusations and more thoughtful conversation. What is the nature of God? Do our faiths all have a political side in addition to a religious side? Which side is more beneficial/harmful? What did the founding of the nation of Israel in 1948 mean to believers of our three faiths? What do the scriptures of each faith stress? Is there common ground for interfaith dialogue and working together to heal the world?
The women trade off narrating throughout the book. Eventually as guests they experience the services and religious ceremonies of all three faiths, and present their thoughts about these visits. In the rear of the book, it tells how to start your own Faith Club. This is an absorbing book that fills a wide, wide need!