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

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,561 Ratings  ·  847 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 project near ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Atria Books (first published 2006)
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Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peace on earth, y'all. After 9/11, numerous buildings surrounding Ground Zero had to be closed until they could be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected from dust and debris. Because of these closures, a mom could no longer take her kids to their Episcopalian church school. A local synagogue, however, opened their doors so that the Episcopalians could have services and school there. Where I live in Louisiana, our various churches and synagogues often offer space to one another and sometimes hold jo ...more
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
"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
Chadijah Mastura
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alreadyread
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
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jennifer Willis
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
The Faith Club was a really important book that taught me a great deal about the three major monotheistic religions of the world - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I was fascinated to learn how they are far more similar than different and even more important, this book compelled me to pursue more knowledge. I really knew very little about Muslims and I learned a tremendous amount, although it's only a starting point as this book shares thoughts on faith from three limited viewpoints. The beauty ...more
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give a lot of books 5 stars. This one should get more. A must read for everyone.
Ghost of the Library
Review updated and, i hope, sightly more polished :)

You are a curious inquisitive person who believes that, in order to form an opinion on a different way of seeing the world, one must read and ask questions about it? Then by all means take a peak, this is for you.

How does one go about reviewing a book on such a sensitive topic as religion...especially in this day and age?
Faith - or the absence of it - is a deeply personal and sensitive issue - and in order for respect to exist, alongside a pea
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Arlene Hayman
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dear friend loaned me her copy of The Faith Club, as I was reading The Red Tent for my book club, and pondering over how Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all came from similar historical roots and might fit together in harmony. In this nonfiction book, three women, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew, meet over a series of years to chronicle some of their thoughts and discussions regarding their beliefs in their religions and their ideas about faith. What seems to have resulted as an outcome of t ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for my "activism through reading project" in an attempt to learn more about the Muslim faith. I am glad I selected a memoir-style of book as it was very accessible and engaging. This book is written by 3 women - a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim - who meet shortly after 9/11 to attempt to write a children's book about their faiths. They end up realizing that they needed to gain an understanding of each others' beliefs first, which was a multi-year endeavor.

I read this book to lea
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
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A liberal but liberating look into faith. A Muslim, who had faith but not religion, a Jew with religion but not faith, and a Christian, who has both (but had changed from Catholic to episcopalian in favor of a more liberal doctrine). They begin a Faith Club and delve into the similarities and differences of their religions. One of the many thought provoking statements made: all these religions were praying to the same God on 9/11. Another-all 3 religions boil down to one morality-to love God wit ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book will likely not appeal to conservatives in any of these three faith traditions. What makes the friendship among these women work is their willingness to see the holiness of the other traditions, the commonalities of the three, and each woman's growth to the point of defending the others' faiths against hardliners in their own tradition. All three women are on the liberal side of their traditions, feeling like others consider them as "less" Christian/Jewish/Muslim than "true believers." ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is possibly the most inspiring book I have read in many years. Three women a Jew a Muslim and a Christian come together to write a childrens book in the aftermath of 9/11 to explain how Mohammed, Moses and Jesus are all relevant in the lives of all three religions. But before they can begin they realize that they have to bare their souls to each other and explain their own prejudices and misconceptions about each others religious identities. In the journey they take together they not only l ...more
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
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
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The Faith Club 1 2 Nov 01, 2015 12:01PM  
Welcome to The Faith Club! 5 39 Aug 13, 2011 11:08PM  
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“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
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