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The neighbors we encounter these days do not always hold the same religious beliefs as we do. This is a fact of contemporary life, exemplified by the diversities of places of worship we see as we travel: synagogues, churches and mosques.

Those with religious sensitivity realize that in today’s culture it is important, on many levels, to understand what our neighbors believe. The book that follows seeks to provide easy access to beliefs of three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The nine chapters focus on the big, “umbrella” issues that are dealt with by these three faiths. Each chapter is composed of three questions with responses by experts on each of the three religions. The writers all have deep knowledge of the faith traditions and here write clearly and simply to acquaint us with the different viewpoints.

This book is designed for personal use as well as group study. Groups can examine a particular faith by reading the responses from that perspective in all the chapters. Or, one can study the book by chapters, comparing and contrasting the three traditions on each issue. Helpful materials at the end of the book provide resources for further reflections.

We hope this book will open windows of understanding for those interested in three of the world’s major faiths. Our knowledge of what our neighbors believe can enhance our own beliefs. It can also open us to new insights that can deepen our perceptions and tolerance in a world where “peace among the religions is the prerequisite for peace among the nations.”*

Donald K. McKim for
Westminster John Knox Press

* Hans Küng, Theology for the Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View, trans. Peter Heinegg (New York: Doubleday, 1988), 209.



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