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Interfaith Leadership: A Primer by Eboo…
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Interfaith Leadership: A Primer

by Eboo Patel

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the third in a series of books through which Eboo Patel has simultaneously built and chronicled his interfaith movement. Read his memoir "Acts of Faith" first; it's essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary interreligious encounters and dialogue. This book offers a wonderful introduction to interfaith activity and integrates with a light touch a wealth of scholarship from sociology, politics, theology, and other fields. Patel has written a handbook and manifesto that is broad and deep, learned and accessible.
  jwmccormack | Feb 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Eboo Patel is one of the great religous leaders of today and "Interfaith Leadership" shows why. He understands that interfaith work is both vital and difficult. Most importantly he shows how to do it. A person who is comfortable in their own religion is the best able to work through the barriers that he discribes so well to be able to unstand and work with others. ( )
  FCClibraryoshkosh | Dec 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an excellent book on how to approach and do interfaith work. I would recommend reading this before marching blindly into unknown territory. One must have some reason to get together, and talking about theological differences is not one of them. Patel carefully organizes his material, but this is not a dry book of theory. He brings forth his own experiences, including some failings from which he had to figure out how he got it wrong. He mentions 4 b's that you have to get around, and these include barriers that some build, bunkers they stay behind, reaching out in a bludgeoning way, and building bridges unwittingly (like not knowing what's on the other side).

People need to have to good sense of their own faith, particularly encountering who have a likewise stance. I know this myself from my experience with Lay trialog at the Greater Detroit Roundtable of Chistians, Muslims, and Jews. You must be able to explain your own faith when asked. I found when I was doing interfaith work in the early 1990's that fair-minded Christian material that I could hand out to others was quite hard to come by. I wanted something in the larger pamphlet size -- I couldn't expect people to read Lewis' "Mere Christianity". The best short intro was the Encyclopedia Britannica on Christianity, but I didn't have a way to copy this, so I had to somewhat wing my talk when I did a 25 minute Christianity 101 intro in my trialogue group.

Patel goes on to look at leadership qualities needed. This includes being alert to moments of inspiration from others, connection with others, getting through conflict, going into cooperation, and finally appreciating the differences of the religions. Interfaith groups need to have a sense of their vision. Ptel sees this needing to rest on a triangle of knowledge attitudes, and relationships. Finally the interfaith leader must have strong attributes of grit, relatability, leading in a pluralistic way, and having enough craftsmanship to proceed into excellence. ( )
  vpfluke | Nov 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In a time of hyper-polarization, Patel's book offers a plethora of helpful considerations for leading the way thought today's interfaith landscape. Most helpful is Patel's examination of a very obvious, but perhaps overlooked question, "what is the goal of interfaith dialogue?" From here, he specifically addresses vision, knowledge, skills, and qualities of interfaith leaders. Patel is an excellent story teller and always illustrates his principals with real-life experiences.

As a professional minister, I found myself applying many of Patel's principles to my own Christian faith tradition. Within this tradition, there are enough differences in interpretation of doctrine, scripture, and morality, that one sometimes needs to establish some significant common ground in order to work together.

In short, this book is a quick and easy guide on how to get along with others, particularly in matters of faith. This book should find a welcome home on the shelf of anyone involved in faith-based work. I highly recommend it. ( )
  chasembecker | Oct 7, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed reading Eboo Patel's "Sacred Ground" a while back, so when this title became available for review, I was glad to do so. And I was not disappointed with this cross-cultural and interfaith leadership text. "Interfaith Leadership, A Primer" opens with a common story that could happen to you or me - an encounter that stemmed from casual frustration with a broken system. It is exactly this sort of organic problem solving that builds leaders who are willing to step out and reach across denominational and faith lines to work toward the unified goal of uplifting our fellow neighbor. Another review used the term "framework", and that is exactly what Patel presents in Interfaith Leadership. He does not give pat answers or solutions, and this is not a recipe for the reader to find a clear-cut path to religious harmony. Instead, it helps groom the reader to get into the mindset and look for patterns of need and respectful solutions from one's own vantage point.

I am a seminarian preparing for ordained ministry in a mainline faith tradition. I can easily see this text as required reading for first year students. For full disclosure, I received a free copy in exchange for my opinion regarding this item. However, would I purchase this text if it were not given to me for free? Yes - Patel is a great writer who provides concrete examples that allows the reader to see him or herself in that position of leadership. ( )
  Kristina.Truhan | Aug 21, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807033626, Paperback)

A guide for students, groups, and organizations seeking to foster interfaith dialogue and promote understanding across religious lines

In this book, renowned interfaith leader Eboo Patel offers a clear, detailed, and practical guide to interfaith leadership, illustrated with compelling examples. Patel explains what interfaith leadership is and explores the core competencies and skills of interfaith leadership, before turning to the issues interfaith leaders face and how they can prepare to solve them. Interfaith leaders seek points of connection and commonality—in their neighborhoods, schools, college campuses, companies, organizations, hospitals, and other spaces where people of different faiths interact with one another. While it can be challenging to navigate the differences and disagreements that can arise from these interactions, skilled interfaith leaders are vital if we are to have a strong, religiously diverse democracy. This primer presents readers with the philosophical underpinnings of interfaith theory and outlines the skills necessary to practice interfaith leadership today.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:34:02 -0400)

In this book, renowned interfaith leader Eboo Patel offers a clear, detailed, and practical guide to interfaith leadership, illustrated with compelling examples. Patel explains what interfaith leadership is and explores the core competencies and skills of interfaith leadership, before turning to the issues interfaith leaders face and how they can prepare to solve them. Interfaith leaders seek points of connection and commonality—in their neighborhoods, schools, college campuses, companies, organizations, hospitals, and other spaces where people of different faiths interact with one another. While it can be challenging to navigate the differences and disagreements that can arise from these interactions, skilled interfaith leaders are vital if we are to have a strong, religiously diverse democracy. This primer presents readers with the philosophical underpinnings of interfaith theory and outlines the skills necessary to practice interfaith leadership today.… (more)

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