Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

by

, Religion, Philosophy, Nonfiction, Politics

Reveals how faith traditions have always passed down tools for self-examination and debate, because all religious ideas--not just extremist ones--can cause harm, even as they also embody important moral teachings.

Scripture's abiding relevance can inspire great goodness, such as welcoming the stranger and extending compassion for the poor. But its authority has also been wielded to defend slavery, marginalize LGBTQ individuals, ignore science, and justify violence. Grounded in close readings of scripture and tradition in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, religious scholar Rachel Mikva shows us that the Abrahamic religions have always been aware of their tremendous power both to harm and to heal. And so they have transmitted their sacred stories along with built-in tools--interpretive traditions--to do the necessary work of taking on dangerous religious ideas and fostering self-critical faith.

By exploring the themes of Scripture, Election, Reward and Punishment, Mikva examines how the interpretive methodologies of these religions have identified and grappled with their perilous power and positive potential. Many readers presume that their understanding of scripture's meaning is absolute, forgetting how these sacred texts and the history of interpretation have valued multiple perspectives and recognized ongoing rhythms of change. It's not a modern phenomenon to debate the nature of truth, hold space open for doubt, value humility, and question our capacity to know things--especially about God and God's will--with certainty. In fact, none of the traditions could remain vital or thrive together without a sustained practice of self-critique. Dangerous Religious Ideas reframes the way we talk about faith to create a space where public discussion of religion is more constructive, nuanced, and socially engaged.

Title:Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
ISBN:9780807051870
Format Type:

    Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Reviews

  • Lindsay Cowett

    I have never read a book by a professor that I’m currently studying under, but I’m glad that my first experience was with this book and this professor. Dr. Mikva is an obvious expert in interrelig...

  • E.

    My Associate Pastor Katie Miller had Rachel Mikva for a seminary class, which was my connection to finding out about this excellent volume. And excellent it is. Mikva argues that any religious idea ca...