Abraham A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths review É 3

review Abraham A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths

Abraham A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths review É 3 Ý Both immediate and timeless Abraham is a powerful universal story the first ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner Thoughtful and inspiring it offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors our future and Lling author of Walking the Bible searches for the man at the heart of the world's three monotheistic religions and today's deadliest conflictsAt a moment when the world is asking Can the religions get along one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews Christians and Muslims One man holds the key to our deepest fears and ou. Abraham is a hugely important figure in the three major monotheistic religions Judaism Christianity and Islam Indeed these three religions are often referred to as the ‘Abrahamic’ religions which shows the great importance attributed to this figure who lived around the year 2000 BCEIn Bruce Feiler’s enthralling book we are taken into the heart of the Holy Land where the author talks to many learned figures from these three religions and explores shrines tombs and important places of worship many of which are linked to Abraham and have been fought over for centuries in religious conflictsThe central themes of the book are Feiler’s attempt to uncover why Abraham is such as important figure and also to see whether there is any common ground between the monotheistic religions that might make Abraham a unifying figure The book is divided into separate sections which each focus on a different religion and it’s understanding of AbrahamThis book would have taken a lot of time and courage to write Conflict in the Middle East at the time of writing conflict which is of course ongoing means that as the author explored the Holy Land he was never far away from conflict and danger For instance he describes having to go through six different check points on a visit to Abraham’s tomb in Hebron encountering armed guards along the wayFeiler discusses the great deal of confusion that exists about Abraham’s life and the life of his children Perhaps the most famous story related to Abraham is where he is instructed by God to go up a mountain and offer up his son as a sacrifice However it is a point of contestation amongst the Abrahamic religions which son was with Abraham and also the reasons why and the manner in which the imminent sacrifice was halted by an angel from God The event is generally regarded as being a test of Abraham’s faith in God but there are differing interpretations among the religions which are discussed in the bookThe book is relatively short 224 pages and not heavily academic although there is a lot of detail and a lot of depth For me it’s one of those books where you feel you want to read it at least twice to absorb all the information contained within its pages And I mean that in a positive way – I found it to be an excellent readDespite major differences in the theology of the world’s three major monotheistic religions the author’s contention is that Abraham offers a glimmer of hope for interfaith understanding unity and most importantly of course peace In a world where peace seems so unlikely I found it refreshing to read about a figure who could perhaps be at the centre of a coffee table discussion between Jews Muslims and Christians I would recommend this book to people of all faiths and no faith for it’s detailed exposition insight and readable style

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Both immediate and timeless Abraham is a powerful universal story the first ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner Thoughtful and inspiring it offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors our future and ourselvesIn this timely provocative and uplifting journey the bestse. This book is interesting from an cultural perspective but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone seriously interested in learning about the historical figure Abraham Although Feiler interviews several authorities from different faiths the book is in no way a scholarly approach to the belief systems of Judaism Christianity and Islam Rather it is the journey of one man who is rather unsure of his own beliefs asking uestions of other people about their belief systems how they relate to the various perceptions of Abraham the patriarch and then sort of piecing it all together in a slightly journalistic way I picked it up expecting a few facts and uite a few less slanted interpretations but I might as well have picked up a book which claims to give explanation and detail to the physical characteristics of the human heart and then is simply one person's interpretations of a person's 'heart' feelingsThat much wasn't so bad it was intriguing to read the perspective of a Jewish American on his own religion and that of Islam and Christianity but I had to put the whole thing down for a few weeks while reading his obnoxiously written perspective on Christianity It was somewhat like watching the news these days and seeing a five minute positive report on Obama and then a thirty second negative report on McCain I'm not really a fan of either one but it's still irritating to watch such biased journalism Feiler's approach was similar only in this case I do happen to know a bit about the historical and current perspectives of Christianity on Abraham as well as on other Christian perspectives and Feiler's interpretations were infuriating For example here is what he writes in first introducing the man from whom he derives his information about Christian beliefs We are sitting in his crowded kitchen in the Old City a few steps from the Holy Sepulcher and he's fussing around like a talkative aunt Bishop Theophanes is a kitchen table conjurer or sorts a short hearty Nathan Lane look alike with a beard who could serve as the magician at a backyard birthday party but who happens to be the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the holiest spot in Christendom He gives a picture of a half wit then proceeds to cite sources as being accurate to biblical Christianity but with which I doubt many in even the broad worldwide scope of Christianity would agreeEven aggravating Feiler regards both Judaism and Islam with great respect even referring to the Koran and Mohammad's revelations as though they are completely accurate but then treats the New Testament in much the same way as one might treat a fairy tale with statements like Jesus' followers spread word that Jesus had not actually died irreparably on the cross So Mohammad definitely received revelations from Allah but Jesus couldn't possibly have risen from the dead The whole thing would be laughable if it weren't so blatantly slanted against lending any credence to the Christian faith I would have expected that but I wouldn't have expected him to portray both Judaism and Islam so much respectfullyThere are many little things which contribute to the disposability of this book such as the blanket statement that Muslim discrimination against nonbelievers while profound never reached the levels of Christian hostility to Jews That interpretation is nothing close to accurate yet it and others like it are consistent throughout Feiler's writing It may be interesting as a one time read but to lend the author any real authority on these matters even that of Abraham about whom he discusses many legends but doesn't even decide whether the man actually existed or not would be a crime Overall I'd categorize this book as one man's uestions and interpretations regaring the abilities of the main three world religions to coexist peacefully than a true search for the historical figure of Abraham

Bruce Feiler ¾ 3 read

Abraham A Journey to the Heart of Three FaithsR possible reconciliation AbrahamBruce Feiler set out on a personal uest to better understand our common patriarch Traveling in war zones climbing through caves and ancient shrines and sitting down with the world's leading religious minds Feiler uncovers fascinating little known details of the man who defines faith for half the wor. Because I have been a student and teacher of the Bible I read with great interest Feiler's book particularly because I knew I was limited in my understanding of the perceptions of Abraham by adherents of Judaism and Islam Feiler goes in search of the real Abraham history's first monotheist and the father of twelve million Jews two billion Christians and one billion Muslims Feiler allows the reader to participate in his uest as he seeks out the documents related to the many legends about Abraham Feiler expresses his surprise shock and disappointment in his findings He expresses his confusion along the way USA Today said Bruce Feiler went looking for proof He learned that proof doesn't matter That could also be applied to the history and books of the LDS churchSeparate chapters trace the necessity of each faith for Abraham in order to establish its legitimacy Feiler uses interviews with experts renowned scholars theologians and archaeologists and others to introduce each segment of his subject matter That contributed a sense of immediacy for the reader In addition the reader journeys with Feiler as he walks the streets of Jerusalem stands near the Wailing Wall visits ancient shrines climbs to the caves of umran and the Dead Sea Scrolls and enters Hebron under high security Because I have traveled in Israel these forays helped make Feiler's search even personal to me Abraham's story stands at the root of the Middle Eastern conflict today Can the religions co exist Perhaps perhaps not Historically they have become geo political As I read Feiler I often turned to Genesis to verify his presentation Because I've looked at Abraham from the Christian perspective I was interested in the other vantage points even differences in the narrative Feiler's conclusion Abraham represents the basic desire all people have to form a union with God Abraham is a physical manifestation of the fundamental yearning to be descended from a sacred source Those are deductions that I've not made in my study of Abraham before Feiler provides an overview of Abraham in the three faiths As a result brevity and absence of specific detail could be a weakness Fluid vivid prose