Author Inspiration For the Book "Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships"
David Carlson has just released his newest non-fiction book, Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships
, a book that recounts David Carlson's journey into friendship with people of other faith traditions. His book profiles Christians, Muslims, and Jews who come to acknowledge one another's gifts and so come to value their own.
In Dr. David Carlson's Own Words -
As I was finishing my first interview-based book (Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World, Thomas Nelson, 2011), a Muslim friend asked to read portions of the book. I was not sure this book about our nation's responses to 9/11 would make much sense to a Muslim. But to my surprise, my Muslim friend said that the book offers great comfort to American Muslims. One comment of hers that I will never forget is, 'This is the book my father wanted to read before he died.' Other Muslims who read the book have echoed her sentiments.
Those unexpected responses led me to wonder: Could strong spiritual connections exist between persons of different faiths? Benign tolerance will never promote such relationships. Sporadic interfaith gatherings, when clergy or academics gather to meet one another, also fall short of creating and sustaining these connections. Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships (New City Press, 2017) studies and proposes a more heightened interfaith opportunity, one where ongoing spiritual friendships between persons of diverse faiths lead to encouragement of one another.