A writer drawing connections between the Abrahamic faiths
Bruce Feiler is a freelance journalist and writer of spiritual travelogues that invite the reader into his own journey of geography and soul. His books Walking the Bible and Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths are travelogues that weave together the ancient and contemporary stories with his own personal journey toward understanding and faith.
Feiler was born to a Jewish family in the American South, but as the reader follows Feiler’s journeys, they can see a faith grow from an intellectual curiosity to a deep personal engagement, the mysteries of God and the stories of people encountering that God in the Scriptures.
Feiler comes at his journeys as a Jew, but is intrigued by the differing understandings that Christians and Muslims have of the same land, stories and religious figures. He discovers similar distortions in the three faiths as they each appropriate Abraham for themselves to the exclusion of the others. But then he also sees the same spiritual yearnings and lessons in the three faiths; life is defined by spirit and that we must leave what is comfortable, even our doctrinaire traditions, and go to the unknown places at the call of God.
In his travels Feiler interviews scholars, clerics and ordinary people of all three Abrahamic faiths. Then after writing Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, Feiler devised a way to invite others to journey with him. He established the format for
Abraham Salons, gatherings of people of the three Abrahamic faiths to engage in guided discussions about Abraham and their own faiths. The Salons are a way for the participants to learn about each other, study the Biblical and Koranic passages together and build trust.
Early in Abraham, Feiler is introduced to a legendary story that is told by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The story speaks about how love between people is necessary before God can be manifest in the world. One of Feiler’s guides says—in a way similar to how Armstrong and Feiler speak through their works:
If you’re not capable of living with each other and getting along with each other, then you’re not capable of having a relationship with God … So the question is not whether God can bring peace into the world. The question is: Can we?