“A handy guide to the basics of the Abrahamic faiths. I was surprised to find myself as interested in reading about my own as the others! This book is an ideal cure to our nearly invincible ignorance about our neighbors.”
—Jason Byassee, Assistant Editor, The Christian Century
“In the broadest brush strokes, What Do Our Neighbors Believe? paints a historical and theological portrait of each of the world’s Abrahamic traditions from its beginnings to the present day. A helpful question-and-answer format weaves together concise explanations of touchstone moments, leadership roles, and beliefs and practices, as well as responses to challenges in today’s world. What Do Our Neighbors Believe? lends itself well to both group and individual study and serves as an important and practical guide to comparative religion.”
—Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union for Reform Judaism, New York
Featuring a constructive and user-friendly question/answer format, What Do Our Neighbors Believe? offers salient and reliable introductions to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, allowing readers the flexibility to compare and contrast as they read along or, if they prefer, concentrate on one religion at a time. Accessibly and engagingly, an expert on each faith clearly conveys the histories, theological understandings, practices, and contemporary challenges of these three great traditions. Of the nearly thirty questions discussed, the following are included:
When, where, and how did the religion begin?
Where is the religion found today?
What were the most significant events in the religion’s history?
Who have been the key people in its development?
What is the religion’s sacred text?
What are the important leadership roles in the community?
How are those roles of leadership and authority filled and exercised?
How is the human condition understood?
How is the nature of God understood?
What are the primary rituals and practices of the religion?
What does the religion teach about how members of the community should treat one another?
What does it teach about how men and women should relate to each other?
What does it teach about people who follow other faiths?
What issues are the most hotly debated by followers of the religion?
What is the biggest challenge facing the religion today?
Including appendixes of important dates, key terms, Internet sites, and recommended readings for each faith, What Do Our Neighbors Believe? is an ideal resource for personal or group study.
Howard R. Greenstein serves as Rabbi of the Jewish congregation of Marco Island, Florida. He has previously served congregations in Florida, Ohio, and Massachusetts. Greenstein has been a Lecturer at the University of Florida, University of North Florida, and Jacksonville University. He is the author of Judaism: An Eternal Covenant (1983) and Turning Point: Zionism and Re-form Judaism (1981).
Kendra G. Hotz serves as Adjunct Professor of Theology at Memphis Theological Seminary. She formerly taught at Calvin College. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and coauthor of Shaping the Christian Life: Worship and the Religious Affections (2006) and Transforming Care: A Christian Vision of Nursing Practice (2005).
John Kaltner is a member of the Department of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he teaches courses in Bible, Islam, and Arabic. Among his books are Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know (2003); Inquiring of Joseph: Getting to Know a Biblical Character through the Qur’an (2003); and Ishmael Instructs Isaac: An Introduction to the Qur’an for Bible Readers (1999).