Multifaith. Interfaith. Transreligious. Interspiritual. All these terms describe a new reality in religious life: the intentional interaction of people of different religious traditions. Some of these meetings have arisen out of the crises of our time, specifically 9/11, the war on terrorism, and ethnic and religious conflicts around the world.
Other multifaith encounters are the byproduct of living in an increasingly hyphenated culture, where more and more people describe themselves as belonging to multiple social, cultural, ethnic, or religious groups. For example, according to the 2000 census, 11% of Americans are foreign-born with the majority having come from Latin America and Asia, bringing their religions with them. As Diana Eck of The Pluralism Project puts it, "The United States is the most religiously diverse nation on earth." And other nations, especially those with large immigrant populations, are equally diverse.
Living in a multifaith, hyphenated world creates some wonderful opportunities for broadening our understanding of both spirituality and practice. That's certainly what we've discovered in our book reviewing over the past decade. Here are 100 titles that qualify as multifaith resources. Click on the link to read a full review.
1. Addison, Howard. Show Me Your Way: The Complete Guide to Exploring Interfaith Spiritual Direction — A resourceful and pensive scout in the new territory of interfaith spiritual direction we may all be exploring in years to come.
2. Aitken, Robert and David Steindl-Rast. The Ground We Share — A bracing read, filled with fresh takes on traditional topics from a Zen and contemplative Christian tradition.
3. Baker, Rob. Merton and Sufism: The Untold Story, A Complete Compendium — An examination of Merton's interest and attraction to this mystical path.
4. Barnhart, Bruno and Joseph Wong. Purity of Heart and Contemplation: A Monastic Dialogue Between Christian and Asian Traditions — A soul stretching treasure house of ideas and ideals on the spiritual journey, desire, nonduality, devotion, wholeness, and more.
5. Berling, Judith A. A Pilgrim in Chinese Culture: Negotiating Religious Diversity — Presents a stunning portrait of the ways in which Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and animism are able to coexist in Chinese culture.
6. Berthrong, John H. The Divine Deli: Religious Identity in the North American Cultural Mosaic — Posits the next wave of spirituality as multiple religious participation.
7. Beversluis, Joel. Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality — A grand example of inter-religious cooperation and understanding with ideas on how a community can work together on global issues such as ecology, peace, sustainable development and human rights.
8. Boorstein, Sylvia. That's Funny, You Don't Look Jewish: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist — Makes a good case for the cross-fertilization of different religious traditions as a source of insight and revelation.
9. Boys, Mary C. Has God Only One Blessing?: Judaism as a Source of Christian Self-Understanding — An expose of anti-Judaism thought in ancient and modern Christianity with practical ways to promote understanding and justice.
10. Boys, Mary C. and Lee, Sara S. Christians and Jews in Dialogue: Learning in the Presence of the Other — Insights into interfaith dialogue by a Catholic sister and a Jew who have led interreligious education projects together for twenty years.
11. Carroll, James. Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews — An encyclopedic overview of anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church.
12. Ching, Julia. The Butterfly Healing: A Life between East and West — A memoir swinging between East and West traditions reminding us of the importance of the spiritual practice of openness.
13. Claassen, William. Alone in Community: Journeys into Monastic Life Around the World — Charts a ten-year odyssey participating in different monasteries around the world.
14. Cooper, David. Three Gates to Meditation Practice: A Personal Journey into Sufism, Buddhism, and Judaism — Shares his spiritual journey over a 15-year period in an ecumenical way, proving to be a helpful resource to all spiritual seekers.
15. Cornell, Judith. Amma: Healing the Heart of the World — Fine and informative biography of the Indian woman known as "the Hugging Saint" with a universal yearning for love.
16. Cox, Harvey. Common Prayers: Faith, Family, and a Christian's Journey Through the Jewish Year — A sophisticated and sensitive mapping of Judaism's depths by a theologian who is married to a committed Jew and is raising a Jewish son.
17. Cutsinger, James S. Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East — A collection of essays saluting the heart as the mystical point of contact between Sufism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
18. The Dalai Lama, His Holiness. The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus — Makes a good case for the value of interreligious encounters while acknowledging both similarities and differences between Buddha and Jesus.
19. The Dalai Lama, His Holiness. Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians by His Holiness the Dalai Lama — Soul-stirring and bridge-building talks.
20. Davis, Avram. Meditation from the Heart of Judaism: Today's Teachers Share Their Practices, Techniques, and Faith — A sturdy collection of 22 essays from different authors revealing the multidimensional value of the spiritual practice of meditation.
21. du Boulay, Shirley. Beyond the Darkness: A Biography of Bede Griffiths — Sheds light on this middle-class, Oxford-educated Englishman who wound up as a leader of an ashram in India.
22. Dugan, Kathleen and Arvind Sharma. A Dome of Many Colors: Studies in Religious Pluralism, Identity, and Unity — An erudite collection of essays.
23. Eck, Diana. A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation — A watershed work mapping the changes in the soulscape of this nation, the challenges stemming from diversity, and the usefulness of the activities of the interfaith movement.
24. Eck, Diana. Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras — The author's encounters with people of other religions that have challenged and enriched her Christian faith.
25. Epperly, Bruce G. and Lewis D. Solomon. Mending the World: Spiritual Hope for Ourselves and Our Planet — An interfaith project filled with helpful spiritual practices and a bold vision of God's transformative activity in tense times.
26. Feldmeier, Peter. Christianity Looks East: Comparing the Spiritualities of John of the Cross and Buddhagosa — Models interspirituality with a dialogue between John of the Cross and Buddhaghosa.
27. Fox, Matthew. One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths — A wide-ranging and substantive sourcebook on the spiritual wisdom of the world's religions.
28. Franck, Frederick. What Matters: Spiritual Nourishment for Head and Heart — A wonderful and thought-provoking collection of quotations and reflections by this Renaissance artist, sculptor, writer, and visionary.
29. Freke, Timothy. The Illustrated Book of Sacred Scriptures — Presents common understandings of the world's religions.
30. Funk, Mary Margaret. Islam Is. . .: An Experience of Dialogue and Devotion — A salutary and illuminating work of interfaith wisdom by a Benedictine nun.
31. Gallagher, Winifred. Spiritual Genius: The Mastery of Life's Meaning — A watershed work on the way gifted, energetic, and inspiring individuals around the world are making a difference in the affairs of the planet thanks to their spiritual practices.
32. Glassman, Bernie. Bearing Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace — A profound book on the spiritual practice of peacemaking.
33. Gooch, Brad. Godtalk: Travels in Spiritual America — An engrossing spiritual walkabout executed with style and intelligence that reveals the diversity of religious experience in contemporary America.
34. Green, Joey. Jesus and Muhammad: The Parallel Sayings — A bridge-building paperback showing the commonality between these two spiritual seers and prophets.
35. Griffiths, Bede. A New Vision of Reality — Insights into the Cosmic Lord as delineated in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
36. Griffiths, Bede. River of Compassion — A profound interpretation of this Hindu classic with special attention to the relevance for Christians.
37. Griffiths, Bede. The Wisdom of a Prophet — Two lectures on a Christian perspective that embraces both modern science and Eastern mysticism.
38. Halevi, Yossi Klein. At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden — A courageous, enlightening, and visionary work about building bridges between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Israel.
39. Hanh, Thich Nhat. Living Buddha, Living Christ — A deep look at mindfulness, presence, gratitude, touching our ancestors, and other practices which are the jewels of Buddhism and Christianity.
40. Hart, Matthew and Thomas Merton. The Other Side of the Mountain: The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume Seven, 1967-1968 — Offers a brief glimpse of what a renovated and reverent Christianity could be in our pluralistic world.
41. Harvey, Andrew. A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna — An inspiring and admirable work of multifaith hospitality propelled by mystical love, yearning, justice and compassion.
42. Harvey, Andrew. The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World's Mystical Traditions — Critiques the guru system and then offers instruction in sacred practices that can help us draw closer to God and commit to political, social, sexual, and economic transformation.
43. Harvey, Andrew and Mark Matousek. Dialogues With a Modern Mystic — A mystical education with commentary on world religions, the Sacred Feminine, and mystical experiences.
44. Hick, John. A Christian Theology of Religions: The Rainbow of Faiths — Defends pluralism as a viable and flexible stance for a believer in these times, challenging Christians to set aside dogma, judgmentalism, and exclusivistic claims.
45. Hixon, Lex. Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions — A trailblazing primer on the non-exclusionary mystical path of interspirituality.
46. Housden, Roger. Sacred America: The Emerging Spirit of the People — An in-depth examination of the spiritual renaissance in contemporary America, including Native American spirituality, the Jewish renewal movement, the many permutations of Buddhism in America, the social activism of the Sojourners community, and more.
47. Howe, Mary Blye. Sitting with Sufis: A Christian Experience of Learning Sufism — An interfaith gem that ought to embolden others to act upon their deepest yearnings to draw closer to God.
48. Hughes, Amanda . Five Voices, Five Faiths: An Interfaith Primer — A variety of essays offering an example of the value of hospitality in interfaith adventures.
49. Ingram, Paul O. Wrestling with the Ox: A Theology of Religious Experience — Ingram demonstrates the spiritual adventure in crossing over to various religious traditions, learning new practices, and returning to our own religious Way with hopes for creative transformation of our lives.
50. Jaffe, Sherril and Alan Lew. One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi — An engaging spiritual memoir of combining Jewish practice and Zen meditation to find greater meaning.
51. Johnston, William. Arise, My Love. . .: Mysticism for a New Era — Heralds a global Christianity that is open to mystery, hospitable to all religions, self-emptying and prophetic.
52. Kamenetz, Rodger. The Jew in the Lotus — A rich vein of wisdom from Jewish and Buddhist spiritual traditions.
53. Kasimow, Harold. Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha — A watershed work of gathered personal accounts from Jews and Christians who have engaged in Buddhist practices and found, in most cases, that they deepened and enhanced their relationship with their birth religion.
54. Kaufman, Paul and Philip Zaleski. Gifts of the Spirit: Living the Wisdom of the World's Great Religious Traditions — Presents ancient religious practices just waiting to be resurrected in the rhythms of our everyday lives.
55. Kennedy, Robert E. Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life — Demonstrates how these two traditions can be compatible and have enriched his own practice.
56. King, Robert H. Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh: Engaged Spirituality in an Age of Globalization — Celebrates the work of the Catholic contemplative and the Buddhist peace activist who pioneered a new paradigm for the world's religions.
57. Kirvan, John. God Hunger: Discovering the Mystic in All of Us — The musings of ten mystics from different traditions.
58. Knitter, Paul. Introducing Theologies of Religions — Summarizes the major positions taken by Christian churches and theologians in response to religious pluralism and points the way to the future.
59. Knitter, Paul. One Earth Many Religions — Outlines his vision of a "globally responsible, correlational dialogue of religions."
60. Knitter, Paul. The Myth of Religious Superiority: Multifaith Explorations of Religious Pluralism — Seventeen essays by religious scholars defending pluralism and spiritual hospitality.
61. Knitter, Paul. Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy — Offers much food for thought on ethical strategies for combating avarice from seven religious traditions.
62. Lanzetta, Beverly. Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred — A bold and adventuresome vision of a new global spirituality that is mystical, nonviolent, compassionate and heart-centered.
63. Lesser, Elizabeth. The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure — An excellent guided tour of the spirituality of wholeness for mind, heart, body, and soul.
64. MacInnes, Elaine. Light Sitting in Light: A Christian's Experience with Zen — Shows how Buddhist practice can enrich the lives of Christians.
65. Macquarrie, John. Mediators Between Human and Divine: From Moses to Muhammed — Pays homage to "nine bright stars in the human sky."
66. Madiga, Arthur J. How To Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, Vol. 1 — An essential resource for church, mosque, and synagogue libraries with descriptions of basic beliefs, services and celebrations in 20 of the largest religions.
67. Madiga, Arthur J. and Stuart Matlins. How To Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, Vol. 2 — Examples of how to practice hospitality among 17 religious groups in pluralistic America.
68. Maguire, Daniel C. Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions — Challenges men and women of conscience to walk the talk of justice, compassion, love, and kindness.
69. Maguire, Daniel C. Sacred Energies: When the World's Religions Sit Down to Talk About the Future of Human Life and the Plight of this Planet — Looks to the world's religions to work together on healing the earth.
70. Martin, Nancy M. and Joseph Runzo. The Meaning of Life in the World Religions — Contains sixteen essays on the multiple meanings in religion.
71. Merad, Ali. Christian Hermit in an Islamic World: A Muslim's View of Charles de Faucauld — Tribute to a French priest who showed us how to be graceful guests in the house of Islam.
72. Merton, Thomas. Thoughts on the East — A collection of observations about the spiritual wisdom in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism.
73. Miles-Yepez, Netanel. The Common Heart — Ideas and ideals from 20 years of interreligious dialogue at Snowmass Conferences.
74. Mitchell, Donald. The Gethsemani Encounter: A Dialogue on the Spiritual Life — Twenty-five presentations from an historic five-day meeting in July 1996.
75. Mohammed, Ovey N. Muslim-Christian Relations: Past, Present, Future — Presents a strong case for expanding Muslim-Christian relations.
76. Morinis, Alan. Climbing Jacob's Ladder: One Man's Journey to Rediscover a Jewish Spiritual Tradition — A superb introduction to a series of time-tested spiritual practices that foster self-awareness and elevate the soul.
77. Moses, Jeffrey. Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions — Presents similar ideals and religious practices in all traditions.
78. Muller, Laurence C. Wisdom Roads: Conversations with Remarkable Meditation Masters — Interviews with eight meditation masters.
79. Nelson, Marcia Z. Come and Sit: A Week Inside Meditation Centers — A nonsectarian overview of this spiritual practice in seven religious traditions.
80. Nikhilananda, Swami and Mukerji, Dhan Gopal. Sri Ramakrishna, The Face of Silence — Two superb overviews of the life and work of Sri Ramakrishna, India's pioneer of spiritual hospitality.
81. Olitzky, Kerry. Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Jewish Outreach Guide to Opportunities, Challenges, and Resources — A helpful overview for this increasingly common arrangement.
82. O'Brien, Joanne and Martin, Palmer. The Atlas of Religion — An innovative, succinct, and edifying atlas on the role religion plays in countries around the world.
83. O'Reilley, Mary Rose. The Barn at the End of the World: Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd — A gritty and enlightening spiritual memoir, perfect for an age of religious pluralism.
84. Pallis, Marco. A Buddhist Spectrum: Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue — Contains articles exploring the special connections and parallels between these two traditions.
85. Panikkar, Raimon. The Intrareligious Dialogue — Explores the common human quest for meaning.
86. Pennington, M. Basil. Monastic Journey to India — Reveals a nation attuned to the holy and the holy person from a Christian perspective.
87. Richardson Jensen, Jane and Patricia Harris-Watkins. She Who Prays: A Woman's Interfaith Prayer Book — A soul-stretching devotional resource filled with extraordinarily rich material from all religions.
88. Rimm, Ruth. The Lost Spiritual World: Mark — A beautifully designed interfaith work using the Gospel of Mark as a launch pad for meditations on a spirituality that is open, hosipitable, and flexible in its outreach.
89. Ruland, Vernon. Imagining the Sacred: Soundings in World Religions — An impressive survey of eight religious paths: primal religions, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and humanism.
90. Sacks, Jonathan. The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations — Makes a good case for the spiritual practice of hospitality in a world of global religious and economic strife.
91. Schaper, Donna E. Raising Interfaith Children: Spiritual Orphans or Spiritual Heirs? — Schaper takes a long hard look at the ways in which fundamentalism and monotheism are problems for interfaith living and summarizes the bounties of raising children fully Jewish and fully Christian.
92. Shrady, Nicholas. Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage Trail — Describes six different journeys on this devotional path.
93. Smith, Huston. The World's Religions — A substantive, wide-ranging, and completely accessible guide with fresh insights to the wisdom traditions.
94. Swidler, Leonard. For All Life: Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic, An Interreligious Dialogue — A collection of religious scholars responding to Swidler's global ethic and making the case for commonalities among the world's religions.
95. Teasdale, Wayne. A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life — Practices that can be done in the city where pluralism, interfaith encounter, and a contemplative lifestyle stretch our souls.
96. Teasdale, Wayne. The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions — A pathbreaking work on religious hospitality that presents a bold and imaginative glimpse of the fruits of multi-faith sharing and collaboration.
97. Toropov, Brandon and Luke Buckles. The Complete Idiot's Guide to World Religions: Third Edition — Overview of the texts, practices and rituals of the world's religions.
98. Walsh, Roger. Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind — Highlights the wisdom held in common by all the world's religions.
99. West, Elizabeth. Happiness Here and Now: The Eightfold Path of Jesus Revisited with Buddhist Insights — An excellent primer on the spiritual benefits of interfaith dialogue.
100. Wuthnow, Robert. America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity — A substantive work on the challenges that lie ahead for those who believe in religious diversity and the riches it holds for those who practice it diligently and imaginatively.