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Christian or interfaith?

July 28, 2009

I did not intend The Woman Who Named God to be a Christian book, a Jewish book, or a Muslim book. I wrote the book to re-tell a biblical story and to point out the many connections between our era and the biblical past. For instance, the war in Iraq has its origins in this story. I also wanted to write about strong women in the Bible and to illuminate the inner lives of biblical characters. However, there are some readers who are aggrieved that the book is not more “christian” and who are offended that I take the Koran and Jewish commentary into account. I am saddened by this point of view.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate Meo permalink
    July 29, 2009 12:21 am

    “I go into the Muslim mosque and the Jewish synagogue and the Christian church and I see one altar.” – attributed to Rumi, 13th c. Sufi poet

    Hi Charlotte — This quote always cheers me up a little when the divisions between the man-made crap and the bigger picture get confused. It’d be a reductive, “we’re all the same on the inside/the divine is all one” piece of pap if Rumi weren’t so expansive and so intimate in his faith, his questioning, his humanity. At least, that’s my take on him, anyway. Remove any and all issues around religion, and say your book were about the lives of box turtles or something, and it’s almost unspeakably pathetic that some people could be “offended” by the idea that a writer would consult a variety of the major resources and viewpoints available.

    Anyway, I’m still on a ridiculous writer’s high from Frost Place, and look forward to grabbing my copy of your book tomorrow – I’d done a paper on the Wife-Sister stories about a decade ago and your talk there reminded me of my old love for studying the “chicks of antiquity.” Thanks again for your poems and ideas. 🙂 Kate Meo

  2. July 29, 2009 6:45 am

    I looked at the Amazon reviews, and I see what you mean. But what can one say about readers who think a writer should have focused on a different subject? They’re not critiquing the book in front of them. Sigh.

  3. Ruth permalink
    July 29, 2009 8:15 am

    Therein is the problem.”For that which divides is thin”

  4. July 29, 2009 2:23 pm

    There are a lot of Christian books already out there. There are not a lot of books drawing on all three “Abrahamic” religious traditions. Some don’t know what to do with ideas, books, people they can’t easily categorize. But I find them to be the most intriguing and rewarding.

  5. July 29, 2009 4:55 pm

    I am glad you are out there. We need to support each other in our writings about interfaith issues

  6. July 29, 2009 7:58 pm

    What a great quote. Thank you. Keep writing!

  7. July 30, 2009 10:06 pm

    “I also wanted to write about strong women in the Bible and to illuminate the inner lives of biblical characters.”
    Charlotte, there are many people who are so rigid in their personal beliefs, that anything that varies from, or appears to question, their world view is considered heresy. It has always been so, and remains to this day. Contribute your work to the world, and understand that those who have open eyes will see many things, those with closed minds see only what fits into their perceptions.
    I’m not a religious person but am intrigued by the premise of this book!

  8. July 31, 2009 10:33 am

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I have been reading your blog and am thrilled to have found it. Thank you for your words of support. I feel that we are very much on the same endeavour, although our work looks very different. Thanks for writing.

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