Union Seminary theologian Mary C. Boys salutes "serious and sustained encounters across religious boundaries" as a pathway to living "more intelligently and sensitively in a pluralistic world." In this 1997 Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality, the author focuses on five dialogues which model the transforming values of such encounters. Two of the most striking of these are already available in books — Rodger Kamenetz's The Jew in the Lotus, which charts the 1990 encounter between a group of Jewish scholars and Tibetan Buddhists led by the Dalai Lama, and Diana L. Eck's Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banares where a Christian scholar of religion recounts what she learned from Hindus about the complexity of God and new dimensions of the Incarnation.

Boys has created a Catholic-Jewish colloquium and in one chapter outlines how Jews have given her new respect for the Sabbath and the depth charges of prayer. This cogent little volume celebrates the spiritual benefits which accrue to those who are rooted enough in their own faith "to invest in the health and welfare of another's religious tradition."