cover image Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

Eboo Patel. Beacon, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8070-7748-1

Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, lets his love for his work and his country shine through in this brief but charming introduction to the importance of interfaith work in America. Patel is particularly concerned with the contemporary mistrust of Muslim Americans, but his focus is broader, as he argues eloquently that America, by its very founding principles, should be a pluralist society, citing historical examples of religious tolerance. Patel also muses on practical considerations of interfaith leadership; he has adopted the somewhat counterintuitive practice of educating mostly individuals who are already committed to interfaith tolerance rather than trying to convert the unconvinced, since he has found that inspiring these individuals to action allows for a broader impact as they share their commitment with their own social networks. In some sections the book is only loosely organized, and sometimes Patel veers too far into the political arena, with examples that are likely to be outdated soon, but generally his expertise and blend of compelling personal anecdotes with researched argumentation makes this work an accessible and inspiring introduction to the meaning and practice of pluralism. Agent: Don Fehr. (Sept. 4)