"The Faith Club" A Powerful Dialogue That Crosses Religious Lines

What started as a simple plan among friends, three mothers, to create a picture book for their children changed when something got in the way - their individual religious beliefs. Their plan was to use the book to show how the three faiths – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – connect.

“But no sooner had we started talking about our beliefs and how to explain them to our children than our differences led to misunderstandings. Our project nearly fell apart,” one author was quoted as saying.

Ultimately, they finished a book about their experiences with one another, and with not so many pictures. Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner, authors of “The Faith Club, A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew – Three Women Search for Understanding,” will speak on their interfaith dialogue confronting issues of anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims and preconceptions of Christians during a panel presentation and book signing Oct. 24 at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) on the University of San Diego campus.

The book charts the authors’ journey as they worked to transcend religious barriers, to overcome stereotypes and misunderstandings and to deepen their own religious commitments and beliefs. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Priscilla and Suzanne grew close enough to discover and explore what united them.

They have inspired a new kind of religious dialogue that is spreading like wildfire. Since the hardcover launch of the book last year, the authors have shared their message around the world, from the Middle East Co-Existence House on the Rutgers University campus, to the Young President’s Organization (YPO) Annual Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Retreat in Oman, to the Princeton Theological Seminary Center for Continuing Education in Princeton, N.J. Readers have responded in droves on the authors’ Web site (www.thefaithclub.com) to share their stories on how the book has changed their lives, opened hearts and provided much-needed inspiration and hope. As documented on the Web site, Faith Clubs are popping up around the country in schools, houses of worship, colleges and communities around the country.

The panel discussion and book signing at USD will start at 7 p.m. at the IPJ. This event is open to the public. RSVP by Oct. 17 at http://peace.sandiego.edu or call (619) 260-4236.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.