Timothy Wright – No Peace Without Prayer [Review]

October 3, 2014

 

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0814638228″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41K%2BZN7uMCL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”104″]Page 2: Timothy Wright – No Peace Without Prayer

 

However, it was difficult to anticipate the impact of this narrow representation of minority views because the book as a whole lacked a singular focus. Overall, we appreciated most of the main points of this book, and strongly resonated with its appeal to the importance of dialogue. But it was confusing because the book claims not to be a “blueprint” for dialogue—instead merely seeking to lay out principles but not a particular format or structure. Despite this, a lot of the content was actually focused on discussing parallels between practices of prayer and remembrance in the two traditions, common sacred stories and characters, and a few historical examples of interreligious dialogue. Each of these discussions could have easily had its own book, and they were not always clearly connected to the central theme. Furthermore, we both imagined from the subtitle, Encouraging Muslims and Christians to Pray Together, that the book would guide readers towards very concrete practices of common prayer, as a means of peace between their communities. There was relatively little of this in the book. A better title would have focused on dialogue rather than prayer, and included a discussion of several common traditions between the faiths as a starting point for such dialogue.

 

Ultimately, while this book contains a wealth of interesting information regarding similarities in Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices, a few over-arching principles for dialogue, and concrete examples from the author’s own life as well as history, it feels too disorganized to be a solid guide for communities wishing to start Christian-Muslim dialogue. We wish that the material could have been turned into two or three more focused books, each with a clearer intended audience, to have maximum influence on such an important topic. Inter-religious dialogue, especially between the two largest religions in the world, is necessary for peace or even just survival in a pluralistic world. The author’s experiences, passion, and humility come through quite clearly, and the information contained in this book is both helpful and challenging. However, the narrowness of the traditions explored and the lack of focus may impair the ability of Timothy Wright’s book to provide an effective “blueprint” for future dialogue.