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Loving our neighbors is usually easier in the abstract. The members of Heartsong Church, just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, made that love very real last year in a concrete act of welcome. An Islamic faith community was moving in nearby, and their new center wasn’t going to be ready in time for Ramadan. So the members of Heartsong, in a simple act of Christian hospitality, invited their neighbors to use the church building during the Muslim holy month.
Unfortunately, such loving actions between Christians and Muslims seem to be the exception these days. In nearby Rutherford County, just southeast of Nashville, residents -- most of them Christian -- blocked a mosque planned by the Islamic community. "Why do they hate us?" a child asked the local imam, Ossama Bahloul, according to a reporter. "I said it's just a misunderstanding, miscommunication," Bahloul said. "I told him to love the people because one day they can love you, too."
When we asked Bob Smietana, an award-winning religion writer for The Tennessean, to visit Heartsong Church this summer and write about their interfaith bridge-building, Smietana responded, "A happy Muslim-Christian story? I'm in."
Peace Be Upon Them
A Tennessee church welcomes its Muslim neighbors.
By Bob Smietana
Across the Great Divide
Christians and Muslims in the post-9/11 world.
By Aaron D. Taylor
A Convert to Peace
A conservative Republican member of Congress talks about his journey of repentance for supporting the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Interview by Jim Wallis
Seminary graduates share what they learned about God's call to social justice.
By Avedis Abovian, Nikia Smith Robert, Melanie Weldon-Soiset, Joshua Daly, Duke Kwon, Lisa Yebuah, Kathryn Anderson
Why Seminary Leadership Matters
Good presidents and administrators influence not just schools, but the broader church.
By Barbara G. Wheeler
'Silent' raids that drive workers into the underground economy are worse than useless.
By Gebe Martinez
Studying War More?
ROTC is back on campuses -- but military thinking still conflicts with the life of the mind.
By Claire Lorentzen
Will we control high U.S. health-care costs, or just shift them to seniors?
By Richard Kirsch
Hearts & Minds: 9/11: What Have We Learned?
By Jim Wallis
Deep Economy: Drawing a Line in the (Tar) Sand
By Bill McKibben
H'rumphs: Does the Emphysema Come in Menthol?
By Ed Spivey Jr.
You Can Still Live
By Gareth Higgens
Telling the Old, Old Story
Why, despite mutual suspicions, Christianity and comics go together like paper and ink.
By Gene Luen Yang
The Story of Everything
The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick. Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Reviewed by Richard Vernon
Vanquishing Jane Crow
The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith, by Sarah Azaransky. Oxford.
Reviewed by Lauren F. Winner
New and Noteworthy
Reviewed by Julie Polter
The Vision of E Street
By Danny Duncan Collum
Living the Word: SEPTEMBER Not for the Faint of Heart
By Enuma Okoro
Living the Word: OCTOBER Remembering Our Identity
By Enuma Okoro
Bought Government? |
Outside the Circle? |
Waging Peace |
Poetry: Heaven's Back Door
By Richard Schiffman
Inside Story: From the Editors
By The Editors