On Feb. 10, 40 Jews, Christians and Muslims will embark on a joint "spiritual pilgrimage" to Israel and Jordan. The trip will focus solely on religious themes common to all three faiths. The author, an Egyptian-born engineer, is one of the trip's organizers. You can learn more about the trip and follow its progress at www.abraham.la.
There is at least one upside to the brouhaha over Mel Gibson's controversial film, "The Passion of the Christ": It has led to some serious probing of current Jewish-Christian relations and given many Jews a crash course in the varieties of Christian theology.
With Chanukah bracketed by major Christian and Muslim celebrations, last month might have been a propitious time to find common ground between the Abrahamic faiths.
Instead, a pair of incidents occurring within days of each other reveals the breadth of the cultural divide.
Prompted by recent car bombings of two synagogues in Turkey and a mosque in India, local leaders of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths came together for a vigil on Dec. 7 to publicly condemn such acts of violence as "nothing less than vicious murders."
"Girl Meets God: On the Path to Spiritual Life" by Lauren Winner (Algonquin Books, $23.95).
Lauren Winner's spiritual memoir, "Girl Meets God," is a passionate and thoroughly engaging account of a continuing spiritual journey within two profoundly different faiths.
Winner, the child of a Reform Jewish father and a "lapsed Southern Baptist" mother, was raised as a Jew in the South. Told she was not really Jewish, since Jewish law dictates that Judaism passes through the blood of the mother, she chose to convert to Orthodox Judaism at the end of high school, following her parents' divorce. By the end of her senior year at college, she decided that while in graduate school in England she would convert again, this time to evangelical Christianity.