The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew-- Three Women Search for Understanding
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew-- Three Women Search for Understanding

by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  3,303 ratings  ·  717 reviews
"Welcome to the Faith Club. We're three mothers from three faiths -- Islam, Christianity, and Judaism -- who got together to write a picture book for our children that would highlight the connections between our religions. But no sooner had we started talking about our beliefs and how to explain them to our children than our differences led to misunderstandings. Our proje...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Atria Books (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karen
I'm struggling with the stars for this one....3 or 4, 4 or 3? I'm going with 4 because I simply could not put the book down and read it in one sitting last night. If that's not the sign of a good book, I don't know what is.

In the wake of 9/11, three women of three different faiths come together to discuss their religions, peel away the differences, and celebrate the commonalities. I think what made this book so readable and enjoyable for me is that all three women represent the liberal, non-fund...more
Gwenda
As I read through this book, I was quite frequently upset with these three women and the way they approached their religions. None of them were particularly converted to their faith in the first place; the Jewish woman really only knew the social aspects of being a Jew and not the religious ones; the Muslim woman did not accept many aspects of her religion; the Christian woman seemed most converted (she had changed from being a Catholic to being an Episcopalian because she felt the Catholic chur...more
Kristie
Mom, thanks for sending me the book. :)

When I taught high school English, I tried to have class discussions about the books we read. The boys would have a hot debate by arguing and sometimes even yelling to make their points. They wanted to "win." The girls, on the other hand, were eager to agree. They would rarely challenge another girl on a point and they would try as hard as they could to find "common ground."

I think a similar problem occurs in this book. The three women are so eager to agre...more
Graham Harrelson
This book was a gift to me from my mother. She has read it. My sister has read it. And now me.

Religion is an interesting and tricky thing in New York City, especially when you're from the South where everyone goes to church and pretty much considers themselves Christian (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc...). I consider myself very open-minded when it comes to religion and people's spiritual preferences, but The Faith Club certainly made me unearth some of the subconscious ste...more
YoSafBridg
"A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk into a room..."

Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Pricilla Warner were virtual strangers brought together by their mutual desire to write a picture book for their children which would highlight the connections between the three Abrahamic faiths. Their talks soon led to more misunderstandings than connections so they decided to further investigate their own stereotypes and preconceptions. They continued their meetings recording each one and keeping individua...more
Chadijah Mastura
As a Muslim living in the Western world, I could totally relate to Ranya Idliby, the Palestinian Muslim woman representing the Muslim voice in this book. And, amazingly, she could utter a calm, reasonable, and relaxing voice, even though as a displaced Palestinian she had experienced the biggest impact of the harsh religious-political conflicts. And as she made the spiritual journey through this interfaith dialogue, I felt also enlightened by the outlook of her Christian and Judaism friends. As...more
Bonniemk
I loved this type of religious/spiritual dialogue. I do not agree with the position that it was a diluting or watering down of respective religions. We all come from the Abrahamic line so why not explore the relationships and bridge the misunderstandings? Yes our beliefs may differ, especially with regards to Christ's divinity, but an understanding of another's belief and culture is enriching and need not be devisive to our own faith. There is so much to learn and understand in eachother. It is...more
Andrea Rockel
I have put off writing about this book, not because it wasn’t interesting to read, but I just don’t know what to say about it. It’s bascially set up as a conversation between three women of different faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism, respectively to their position as authors), as they break down prejudices and develop friendships in spite of their differences. It was definitely informative, especially on issues surrounding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (about which I’ve realized I know...more
Lisa Beyeler
Not a crushing heavy read captivating so far.

Finished this journey. I firmly believe that we all need to be having interfaith conversations with others to irradicate prejudice and learn to live in harmony. I was itching to call a faith club meeting by the end of the book and drive up and chat with these ladies, but the whole idea was that you have to own a discussion like that and grow with it. I love that all three were challenged to learn more about their own faiths in order to explain and sha...more
Jennybug
I really liked this book it was very thought provoking. It is a the perfect book to discuss at book club. Some people liked it, some didn't finish it, and others really enjoyed it. I think that it was a really good book that allowed everyone to share their opinions and ideas.

It really got me to thinking. I actually marked it up with quite a few post its.

Pg 8 "Where was God on September 11th?" Some people could feel God comforting them others felt alone.

Pg 41 "This has always been a powerful m...more
Jennifer
If I hadn't had to read this in order to run a book club discussion for my library, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I'm what would be referred to as a non-believer, and my idea of fun was not to read a book about religion that might in any way be preachy. Well, I was pleasantly surprised!
The three women of this book actually took a look at their religions in a very honest, forthright manner. I think it probably helped that they were all were from more liberal establishments of their fait...more
Sandy
Sounding a bit like a bad joke--a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian sit down to talk about faith--this book was actually pretty good. Three women of different faiths wanted to write a children's book in the wake of 9/11. But it turns out that they didn't understand each other's faiths and didn't really trust each other. Probably not the best start for a book project.

So they spent the next couple of years talking about different questions of faith--learning, growing, and, yes, ocassionally getting ma...more
Jeanne
I began reading this book after spending a semester exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with my students. I am currently a bit over half way through the book. It has provided the personal continuation and exploration that I needed following our studies. The book is written as a shifting three-person memoir based on the women's meetings, offering individual perspectives on their encounters and explorations of their faith. In some ways, I fear I am reading the book too quickly; many questio...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 31, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
In the wake of 9/11, Ranya Idliby, a Muslim American of Palestinian descent was inspired by a passage in the Koran about Muhammad's Night Flight to write a children's interfaith book about the commonalities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She recruits two other mothers in the New York City area to help her write the book, Priscilla, a Reform Jew, and Suzanne, a Episcopalian Christian who was raised a Catholic. They find that before they can find common ground, they have to work through...more
Mary
The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew - Three Women In Search of Understanding - Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
In the wake of 9/11, three mothers, living in and near New York City, got together to try to write a book for children about the basic stories of the Abrahamic faiths. Ranya, a Palestinian-American trying to come to grip with what her Muslim faith meant in an American context; Priscilla, a skeptical Jew; and Suzanne, a convinced Christian who had converted fro...more
Jennifer Willis
It took me a few years, but I finally made time to read The Faith Club written by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner. Just a few pages in, I found myself wondering why I’d put this off for so long.

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, three women — a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew — began meeting in hopes of writing a children’s book that would explain the intersection of their faiths, but they first had to honestly understand and appreciate each other’s points of view....more
pianogal
This book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed like a very strong Christian woman got together with a searching Muslim and a lapsed Jew. Instead of her pulling them stronger into their faiths (not converting just supporting), and showing them see how to be (in their respective faiths) by example, they seemed to pull her out of hers.

It shocked me that the Jewish woman didn't know the phrase "chosen people." Seriously, you went to Hebrew Day School and never heard that you were the "cho...more
Laura
I left this book thinking...I'm glad for these three women that they developed a friendship founded on interesting, courageous conversations. I appreciate the honesty of these authors in attempting to self-examine the stereotypes they individually hold and apply to others.

However, as a reader, the premise of the book would be more interesting if the three conversationalists held strong, traditional beliefs in their respective religions. These authors promote instead a 'universalist' approach of...more
Kate
Prompted by 9/11, a Muslim American mother recruits 2 other moms, one Christian, one Jewish, to form an interfaith discussion group w/ the aim of writing a children's book showing what unites the 3 religions. What I really liked about this book (aside from being written in 1st person from each of their perspectives) is that the foundation of their discussions was based on a foundation of open, honest communication and mutual respect. WIth this foundation in place, no holds were barred as they co...more
Jessica
A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a New York apartment...

Ranya, Suzanne and Priscilla are mothers struggling with faith after 9/11. They start a writing project that will explain the commonalities of their religions to children, but quickly realize they share values, but not necessarily interpretations. Thus launches the Faith Club, a multi-year project in which the women read, research and explore their own faiths and share findings and questions with each other.

In some ways, this is a...more
Anne
This book is very interesting, but it's not a quick, easy read as there is no plot. You are basically just reading the thoughts and conversations of three women as they work to discover what their religion means to them and what they think about others' religions.
I would really like to be involved in a book discussion with some other people while reading this book as there is a lot of things (history) that I don't understand. (Yeah, I wasn't into Social Studies and History when in school and now...more
Aimee
Oct 02, 2007 Aimee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: philosophy
See, the thing is... I loved this book because the three of them were able to discuss the differences in their religions, in their cultures and ways of thinking and approaches to life which were very DIFFERENT, but fundamentally based on similar teachings as 'people of the book,' and to face their prejudice and their fear and their criticism of themselves and others and STILL REMAIN FRIENDS!!!!!!!! Isn't that awesome? Those who know me may balk at the idea, but the book was truly beautiful to me...more
Bonnie
I cannot think of another book that touched me more on a spiritual, intellectual, and emotional level so much as this. The brutal honesty, vulnerability, questions, debates, and respect these three women describe from their Faith Club experience was inspiring to say the least. The book forced me to begin to confront my own questions and waverings of my own faith. But not in a fearful way. I highly recommend this book. I will read it again and also look back for the many more thought provoking mo...more
Rae
If you read this review, be aware you'll be getting my thoughts on the entire book and you should have either already read the story yourself or be okay with spoilers.

Now that my warning is out of the way, I want to start out by saying that the premise of the book is a unique one and I enjoyed it. I would love to engage in something like this myself. However, I don't think anyone who has a connection to one of these faiths can read this book in good conscience without finding some faults with i...more
Mayda
Three women of three different faiths meet. Wanting at first to help their children understand other religions, they soon become enmeshed in trying to understand their own faith. And this is the big problem with this book. Of the three women, only one even regularly attends her place of worship. And one doesn’t even have a place of worship. They are not representative of the majority of their faith. These women know little of the theology or doctrine of their religion. Indeed, it is through tryi...more
Margot Peter
I absolutely loved this book; I was a little hesitant at first as it seem rather sophomoric at the start, but as I progressed and got to know the women, I found it a wonderful vehicle for understanding what Faith is, for anyone. We are all on a continuum, and none of us has "perfect faith" unless they've been mesmerized, so it was good to read of the tentativeness we all have, and explore other faiths in more depth than I ever had before!
Dana
This book makes me optimistic about peace - at least in this country. Other books make it clear that the issues are so complex, we may never achieve peace in the middle east or in other regions. However, these 3 women work hard and dig deep to discover what we, humankind, have in common. There is a chance that through continued dialogue and understanding, our children here in the US may coexist peacefully regardless of their faith.
Lindsay
Although the writing in this book is not the greatest, I love how open all three of the authors were. They seemed to me very courageous in their willingness to examine and disclose their own biases, and to understand each other. What really was impressive to me was how honest they all were with each other, and they seemed to reap the rewards, in the form of a very powerful friendship that grew out of their efforts.
brooke sellers
A client mentioned this book to me, so I picked it up to read in Schuler's one day. I couldn't put it down. I took that as a good sign and bought it. These three women engage in some heated discussions about their religious and cultural differences and find surprising friendships and personal challenges in the process. I'm learning about Judaism and Islam from a different angle as I read this book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Welcome to The Faith Club! 5 34 Aug 13, 2011 11:08PM  
  • The Search for God at Harvard
  • Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead
  • Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses
  • My Jesus Year: A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith
  • Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
  • When Religion Becomes Evil
  • The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
  • The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message
  • Speaking of Faith
  • Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
  • Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith
  • The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages
  • Jew in the Lotus: Poet's Re-Discovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India
  • Sexual Ethics And Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence
  • Through the Narrow Gate: A Memoir of Spiritual Discovery
  • Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life
  • The Future of Faith
  • When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions
Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America

Share This Book

“this sounds a little simple, but I think if we didnt know illness we wouldnt really feel the exhiliration of good health. and if we never cried, we wouldnt be able to recognize joy. in a way, the good only gains value when it is contrasted with the bad” 11 likes
“I thank you, God, who lives always, and Who, as i awaken, has in mercy returned my soul to me; we can ever trust in you.” 7 likes
More quotes…