Countering Religious Extremism – The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships

Category: Non-Fiction ~ Interreligious Dialogue
Pub Date: April 2017
Price: $15.95
Size: 8.5″ x 5.5″
Type: Paperback
Pages: 147
ISBN: 978-1-56548-614-0

New City Press

Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships recounts David Carlson’s journey into friendship with people of other faith traditions. It profiles Christians, Muslims, and Jews who come to acknowledge one another’s gifts and so come to value their own. In establishing and nurturing these friendships, Carlson does not seek to change others, nor to settle for mere tolerance. He and his friends realize that they are entering into a way of life that asks much of them – but in return gives even more. Indeed, they sense that they are making history.

“Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships is the right book for our times. In the Western world, where the prevailing feeling is fear, Carlson contributes the remarkable life experience of people who in interfaith encounters have made friendship a possibility. They have discovered that, beyond the risk that any encounter entails, there is the possibility of mutual enrichment far beyond our expectations. The dialogue models Carlson proposes, including his own personal commitment, are credible and, therefore, imitable.”
–Roberto Catalano, co-Director of the Focolare Movement’s International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, Rome, Italy

“David Carlson’s powerful book takes readers on a journey of combating extremism. He shows interfaith groups working together to understand each other and build spiritual friendships. This candid, timely book does not avoid issues that some may be afraid to talk about. It gives hope and practical suggestions on how we can work together to ensure a more peaceful humanity.”
— Khadija Khaja, Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Social Work

“For generations Christians, Muslims and Jews have been encountering one another. We’ve probably exhausted all the “talking about” our faith. This book, Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships offers the next step forward, chronicling how friendships that become healing need to be intentional and given spaciousness and years of having a life of their own. Each chapter develops the theme that friendships are not only possible, but necessary for our daunting times.”
— Sister Mary Margaret Funk, former Executive Director of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, Our Lady of Grace Benedictine Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana