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.
Patel (Acts of Faith), head of the cooperative student group Interfaith Youth Core, makes a compelling argument for interfaith activism and leadership, and provides a plethora of diverse examples of what interfaith leadership might look like and how to go about it. In clear, straightforward prose, Patel guides the reader through helpful thought experiments for example, a Muslim family moving into a predominantly Methodist town and shows how social theory can become practical. He also outlines the necessary knowledge, skill set, and qualities for interfaith leadership, allowing readers to approach this as a handbook or reference manual that can be consulted depending on the various needs and situations. Patel's writing is accessible and engaging; this book will likely find its audience among religious leaders (of all ages) for ministry purposes, and will be an excellent addition to any undergraduate or graduate syllabus in religious studies.