"Minefields and Miracles: Why God and Allah Need to Talk"--A captivating memoir and colorful overview of the interfaith movement. Seeking a way to promote mutual respect among people of widely divergent beliefs, Ruth Broyde Sharone takes on grass-roots interfaith engagement as her personal and global mission. Strong in her Jewish faith, yet close to Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and others, Ruth has a passionate need to see the "other " and "the stranger" as friend and fellow traveler. Highly regarded and respected for her interfaith activities, the book garnered endorsements from more than 30 global leaders of many faiths, including H.H. the Dalai Lama, and has won top awards in two literary competitions, the 2013 Next Generation Indie Award in Religion and the International Book Finalist Award in social change.
"The world needs more narratives of how faith can be a bridge of cooperation, rather than a barrier of division. I deeply thank Ruth Broyde Sharone for sharing her inspiring stories of bridge-building around the world," writes Eboo Patel, Founder & President, Interfaith Youth Core. Ruth's "wake-up call" occurs during her college years. After detailing her first painful encounter with religious discrimination, Ruth goes on to describe her courageous sojourn alone as a 21-year-old traversing the length and breadth of Latin America. Few young women were allowed that freedom. She emerges from that trip strongly identifying with the Latin American people and culture, and with a keen desire to explore the rest of the world. First a journalist, then a documentary filmmaker, Ruth travels in Europe and later spends 10 years making films in Israel, where she encounters the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a conflict that continues to haunt her even when she returns to the States. Ruth explains how, after marriage and motherhood, she is transformed into a passionate interfaith advocate--often at her own expense.
She joins forces with a Black female minister to organize interfaith pilgrimages to the Middle East. Following 9/11 she is invited to screen her award-winning film, God and Allah Need to Talk, at the 2004 Parliament of the World's Religions gathering in Barcelona, Spain. In Barcelona she experiences her first taste of "interfaith paradise," which inspires her to intensify her interfaith activities around the globe. Brimming with photographs of her journeys--from California to Argentina, from Africa to India, from Italy to Green Bay, the book also includes historical photos of the remarkable individuals from around the world who participated in the first Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. Says Pulitzer Prize winning author Jack Miles, "Readers will instantly connect with this open-hearted, often touching, occasionally hilarious, and always disarmingly personal account of inter-religious adventures and misadventures."
Through Ruth we begin to understand the inner life of the peacemakers and boundary-crossers who walk among us--many recruited by Ruth as she travels and speaks extensively in churches, mosques, synagogues and universities. Yes, there are minefields along the way--and Broyde Sharone describes them clearly, seeking to learn the causes. She describes the miracles, too, as when 250 people representing 13 religious communities gather in 2011 in Los Angeles to celebrate a Festival of Freedom Seder, honoring the promise of the Arab Spring. "We are now at the tipping point," Broyde Sharone declares at the end of her compelling book. She offers vivid and concrete examples of the expansion of the global interfaith web. "Ruth is a master storyteller, traversing the world, making films, weaving webs of connection, and inspiring us to do the same. She epitomizes what people mean when they ask us to become the change we want to see in the world. Read her book." -Rev.Paul Chaffee, Editor, "The Interfaith Observer."