Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TWOsday ~ TWO new books

Abraham's Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict ~ edited by Kelly James Clark, 2012, religion
Scarcely any country in today's world can claim to be free of intolerance. Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, Sudan, the Balkans, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the Caucasus are just some of the areas of intractable conflict apparently inspired or exacerbated by religious differences. Can devoted Jews, Christians, or Muslims remain true to their own fundamental beliefs and practices, yet also find paths toward liberty, tolerance, and respect for those of other faiths? In this vitally important book, fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions address religious liberty and tolerance from the perspectives of their own faith traditions. Former president Jimmy Carter, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Indonesia’s first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and the other writers draw on their personal experiences and on the sacred writings that are central in their own religious lives. Rather than relying on "pure reason," as secularists might prefer, the contributors celebrate religious traditions and find within them a way toward mutual peace, uncompromised liberty, and principled tolerance. Offering a counterbalance to incendiary religious leaders who cite Holy Writ to justify intolerance and violence, the contributors reveal how tolerance and respect for believers in other faiths stand at the core of the Abrahamic traditions.
Outsider in the White House ~ by Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman, 2015, politics
The political autobiography of the insurgent presidential candidate. Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the presidency of the United States has galvanized people all over the country, putting economic, racial, and social justice into the spotlight, and raising hopes that Americans can take their country back from the billionaires and change the course of history. In this book, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign.
I got these two books last week.  A new half-price bookstore opened a block from me, and I stopped by to see if they had a book a friend needed.  She's still recovering from hip-replacement surgery, and I figured I could save her a trip to bookstore or library by doing it for her.  (She needed To Kill a Mockingbird for today's book club meeting downstairs in the Circle@Crown Café, but that's another story.)  I found a used copy for only $2.99 for her, and she was delighted.  I also found a reduced-price new copy of Abraham's Children, which delighted me.  Half-Price Books is even closer (and less expensive) than Barnes & Noble, which is only a half mile if I drive or two blocks if I walk.  Oy!  I'm living between bookstores, within a couple of miles of two libraries (not counting the small one here in the Crown Center), and zero miles from my mailbox...

...which is how I got Outsider in the White House.  I've already read nearly a hundred pages of this one.  Bernie Sanders seems to be the only presidential contender wanting to make the changes I think this country needs.  Gotta go get ready for my book club discussion in just over an hour.  By meeting in the Café, we can each buy tea or coffee or something to snack on while discussing our books.  I love it!

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