Book List








Currently Discussing:





We plan to spend several months on Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, starting in June 2019.  Some of us met Barbara Brown Taylor when she came to Little Rock for the Insight Lecture Series at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.





Previous Discussions:

We spent several months using the online Jewish Food For Thought: The Animated Series.  Written and animated by Hanan Harchol, the series is a collection of engaging animated conversations between Hanan and his parents that explore Jewish teachings on themes such as faith, forgiveness, love, gratitude, and many others.  You can find the series at: http://www.hananharchol.com/animation

The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the BibleFriendship of Women:  The Hidden Tradition of the Bible by Joan Chittister looks deeply into biblical stories of female friendships, exploring the sacred dimension of friendship through the lenses of faith, tradition, and scripture, revealing the often-overlooked voices and experiences of women in the Old and New Testaments. As usual, we spent several meetings discussing this book.


The Civil Conversations Project is an evolving adventure in audio, events, resources, and initiatives for planting relationship and conversation around the subjects we fight about intensely — and those we’ve barely begun to discuss.  For several months, we used the Project’s guidelines to listen to and discuss various TED talks and On Being with Krista Tippett interviews.  Specifically, we discussed the following:  Karen Armstrong, Revive the Golden Rule (TED Talk): Karen Armstrong, Charter for Compassion (TED Talk); John Lewis, Love in Action; and Mahzarin Banaji, The Mind Is a Difference-Seeking Machine. You can find the Better Conversations Guide, Grounding Virtues, and On Being interviews at: https://onbeing.org/civil-conversations-project/

To support our discussion of John Lewis’ Love in Action interview with Krista Tippett, we spent our next meeting watching the You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow documentary.  One of our Daughters of Abraham members had the film because she had worked with several of the Freedom Riders.

No god but God (Updated Edition): The Origins, Evolution, and Future of IslamWe spent a few months discussing Reza Aslan’s No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, but decided to quit before we finished because we all agreed it was more history than we wanted to get into.  We constantly had to keep referring to the glossary while we read and that was too much of a distraction for our purpose.  In our opinion, this book would need to be read perhaps twice to fully grasp and none of us had time to do that. 

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of RumiElif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi may very well be our favorite read so far.  In our usual fashion, we discussed this book over several months and had so much fun talking about it.  We still reference it on occasion.



https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Is4mdXS-L._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Hearing the Call across Traditions: Readings on Faith and Service is an inspiring collection of readings that raises deep questions about service and its roots in faith.  We explored the connections between faith, service, and social justice through the prose, verse, and sacred texts of the world's great faith traditions.  The focus of the book is 1) Why do I serve? 2) Whom do I serve? 3) How do I serve?  This rich collection created a platform for discussing and understanding the faith-based service of others as well as inspired us to reflect on the meaning behind our own commitment to improving the world.  
We spent three months reading How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew Newberg, M.D. in preparation for attending an all-day symposium, including lunch, with the author.  We had some good discussions about this topic, and most of the Daughters of Abraham were able to attend the symposium.  
https://static.wixstatic.com/media/161530_ddb04d13f2f64df7a0b2caece44f4fd2.jpg_srz_p_316_426_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzInstead of reading a book for one of our meetings, the Little Rock Daughters of Abraham attended the performance of Fiddler on The Roof at the Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway, Arkansas.  This classic beloved musical tells the story of Tevye the dairyman who takes ultimate joy in his family and traditions. He works to raise his five daughters and see them married well but must struggle against modern ideas and the rising tide of anti-Semitism in 1900's Russia that threaten to destroy his family and their way of life.  We had a lovely time carpooling to the event, discussing the performance, and sharing a late, very late, dinner together.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vyPFLssGL.jpg

We started Religion Gone Astray in August and discussed one chapter at a time over the next nine months.   We wanted to take our time because it explores the deeper dimensions of interfaith dialogue--that which the authors suggest divide us personally, spiritually and institutionally.  It proved to be a rich source for thought provoking and meaningful conversations.  We used the Amazing Faiths Questions for Interfaith Dialogue (available on our Resource page) to supplement our discussions. The Daughters of Abraham toured the visiting artist Ludmila Pawlowska's Icons in Transformation Art Exhibit at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Little Rock, AR.  With our own personal guide, we experienced over 100 pieces of Pawlowska's work, learning about Icons and how they are used in the Christian community for contemplative prayer and other forms of worship. You can find more information about the American tour of Icons In Transformation at:  http://www.ludmilapawlowska.se/
To start 2014, we decided to take a look at specifics from our three traditions.  In January, our Christian members lead the discussion on the Gospel of Luke from our Christian Testament; in February, our Jewish members lead the discussion on The Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith; then our Muslim members led the discussion for two of our meetings on The Holy Qur'an and Its Interpretation and Chapter 1 of the Qur'an: Al-Fatihah (The Opening) For our meeting in April, we gathered at one of our Jewish member's home to experience a Seder together and continued our dialogue about the texts that we had been discussing the previous months.


https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GNd-qM8cpkk/UqdDrcl_KuI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/eYi_I3p17Vw/s1600/13499316281343_islam-without-extremes.jpg

Since the Little Rock Daughters of Abraham planned to attend the 2013 Dialogue Institute of the Southwest's Annual Friendship & Dialogue Dinner at the Clinton Presidential Center where Mustafa Akyol would be the keynote speaker, we chose to read his book for our October and November meetings.   In Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, Akyol addresses the underlying question at the heart of the debate concerning Islam--whether it is compatible with individual liberty and a free society.  This was an excellent read, and the book also initiated some good opportunities to talk about personal experiences from our Muslim members who are from Turkey.   
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hvlXAjprdTQ/UctO-j3Yr2I/AAAAAAAAAJU/3QMOnevWWNQ/s1600/faith-stories-short-fiction-on-varieties-vagaries-c-michael-curtis-paperback-cover-art.jpg During the summer months, we read Faith Stories: Short Fiction on the Varieties and Vagaries of Faith edited by C. Michael Curtis.  The writers explore the diverse world of faith in all its guises:  Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Quaker, Confucian, Jewish and Christian.   It’s a good read to follow the God in the Box film because we were able to ask how these stories might challenge the way we, ourselves, view God.  

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b5jB75Vb3hY/UctO9B05atI/AAAAAAAAAJM/hUVQjNr9WFo/s1600/godinbox.jpgWe took a look inside the mind’s eye, as everyday people across America tried to define God in the documentary film, God in the Box.  The film explores diverse and unique perspectives, giving viewers the opportunity to respond to the questions:  What does God mean to me?  What does God look like to me?  The film generated lots of good questions and comments.  It would be a good starter for newly formed interfaith groups.  The Little Rock Daughters of Abraham has this film in our loan library if you are in our area and want to borrow it.
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-V4oVFFktiz4/UOzmI6vXHwI/AAAAAAAAADE/PzVo6CO7y8A/s1600/tent+of+abraham.jpgWe used four meetings to discuss The Tent of Abraham—Stories of Hope and PeaceThe content includes current issues in Israel and Palestine, so to keep away from a political focus it is important to see how the authors weave the Abrahamic shared stories into positive examples for the modern-day scenario.  
This is a rich resource that deserves careful reading and discussion.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2nmw5EYTsM8/UOzlziQehkI/AAAAAAAAAC8/AVYOXjajARU/s200/abraham.jpgWe could have spent more than the two months we gave to Bruce Feiler’s A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths because it offered such spirited discussions.  
We didn’t agree with a lot of things in the book—which is a very good thing as it creates opportunities for us to think through our own perspectives.  We’ve agreed: we’ll be coming back to this one again.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XvlbiyP41hQ/UOzokIkMUDI/AAAAAAAAADk/2Od14O8keIk/s1600/the+faith+club.jpgWe spent three months discussing The Faith Club: A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding.  
It is a good choice to start with because the authors, like us, were working through their own journeys, modeling a method to work through challenging questions. 


https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jtRV7ZG4VCM/UOzo2Rv8jiI/AAAAAAAAAD4/d4T_KIxTXsQ/s1600/three+faiths+one+god.jpgDuring the summer months when many of our members were traveling, we reviewed the documentary DVD on Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, IslamThis DVD was a gift to us from the Episcopal Peace Fellowship of Arkansas and is currently available through our loan library.


https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zpQdonRIuDY/UOzov6Lc2oI/AAAAAAAAADw/CRAkG0yV5zs/s1600/the+world's+religions.jpgFor our first book, we read the chapters from Huston Smith’s The World's Religions that covered Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Our discussion questions included:
What do you think Huston Smith “got” about your religion? What did he miss? What did you learn about the other religions? What questions did this reading raise for you?