Books and movies on world religions and their ancient texts are drawing individuals and groups into study and dialogue between different faiths, reports the e-newsletter Religion Bookline (June 1).
Feeding much of this interest are productions such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ, as well as semi-scholarly and popular books by Karen Armstrong, Dan Brown (author of the best-selling Da Vinci Code) and Bruce Feiler, author of books on the Old Testament and Abraham.
Feiler finds that discussion and study groups have been formed among these readers and moviegoers. He himself has organized 5,000 “Abraham salons” in the last year, drawing people to discussion about the biblical figure and his relevance to interfaith cooperation and tolerance. The book series, “The Great Religions: Essential Questions,” published by the French publisher Assouline, has gained wide appeal because it is conversational in style, growing out of questions that people ask of each faith rather than taking a dogmatic approach, according to Feiler.