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Alan Berger: Trialogue and Terror

Disappointment, hope, and rage permeate the pages of Trialogue and Terror. However, in spite of obvious diversity and even outright disagreement, one thing that comes through loud and clear is that many devout and reflective people from all three traditions continue to affirm the essentiality of interreligious dialogue in general and Jewish-Christian-Muslim trialogue in particular. This reader can hardly avoid an idea that such would be the obvious conclusion of contributors in a book on interreligious dialogue and Abrahamic trialogue. While I am in complete agreement, I cannot but wonder whether this affirmation matches the majority opinion in any of the respective religious traditions. I suspect it does not—at least, not yet. Nevertheless, I am encouraged in an optimism that commitment to dialogue (and trialogue) will eventually finds its place within the rank and file of not only scholars and advocates but also everyday religious practitioners across the spectrum. If that optimism is ever realized, it will likely be due, in large part, to the courageous work of interreligious dialogue participants such as we see exemplified in the text under review here. In my opinion, a post-9/11 failure to engage religious others in the hard, honest work of interreligious dialogue is tantamount to a global death wish.

Reviewed by Tony Richie

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2014

About the Author: Tony Richie, D.Min, Ph.D., is missionary teacher at SEMISUD (Quito, Ecuador) and adjunct professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN). Dr. Richie is an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God, and Senior Pastor at New Harvest in Knoxville, TN. He has served the Society for Pentecostal Studies as Ecumenical Studies Interest Group Leader and is currently Liaison to the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches (USA), and represents Pentecostals with Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the World Council of Churches and the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. He is the author of Speaking by the Spirit: A Pentecostal Model for Interreligious Dialogue (Emeth Press, 2011) and Toward a Pentecostal Theology of Religions: Encountering Cornelius Today (CPT Press, 2013) as well as several journal articles and books chapters on Pentecostal theology and experience.

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