Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

William Dyrness, Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

William Dyrness, Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities

Article excerpt

William Dymess, Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities. Art for Faith's Sake 7. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books (Wipf and Stock), 2013. Pp. 148. $18.00, paper.

This book is an ethnographic work on the religious practices of five Buddhist temples and five Muslim mosques in Southern California. While casting light on the contemporary lived religions, it provides many insights into the field of interfaith dialogue. The following two aspects are particularly to be congratulated. First, it is very timely for today's societies in which "encounters with a people of different faith have become a fact of life" (p. 7). In fact, along the line of globalization, there are increasing confrontations between East Asia and Islam. However, discourses on dialogue between the two civilizations have been few, and the public images of each other remain far from sympathetic. East Asian people under the deep influence of Buddhism are considered by many Muslims as non-theists (kafir), while Muslims are seen as terrorists in armed wars (jihad) by many East Asians. …

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