Recent Reads: Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel
What the book's about: In Acts of Faith , Eboo Patel chronicles his journey to embrace his Islamic faith. In the process, he shares what he learns about the importance of religious pluralism, including the inception of the Interfaith Youth Core.
Why I read this book: Thanks to hearing several people speak highly of Acts of Faith, this book has been on my "to-read" list ever since it's release in 2007. It finally rose to the top of that this list this spring as I worked on my own book, The Jesus Gap. Reading Acts of Faith was part of the research I did for a chapter in my book that explores the value of interfaith dialogues.
My favorite quotes from the book:
- "Religious pluralism is neither mere coexistence nor forced consensus. It is a form of proactive cooperation that affirms the identity of the constituent communities while emphasizing that the well-being of each and all depends on the health of the whole. It is the belief that the common good is best served when each community has a chance to make its unique contribution."
- "Studying other religions should first and foremost have the effect of strengthening our understanding of our own."
- "Youth activities are typically the top item in a congregation's newsletter but the last line in the budget."
- "If youth don't have a way of understanding how their faith relates to the Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Evangelicals, and others they spend most of their lives around, then there's a good chance that their religious identities will atrophy."
- "Each religion has something unique to say about universal values through its particular scriptures, rituals, and heroes."
Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs up.
Who I'd recommend this book for: Acts of Faith is a great book for those interested in learning more about religious pluralism. In particular, I'd recommend it for youth workers ready to be challenged to step out of their religious bubble and interact with those whose beliefs differ from their own.