Three Faiths, One God
Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam captures a fascinating interreligious dialogue on film. The documentary explores the similarities between scriptural texts and religious practices as well as the historical conflicts and differences between the three faiths, and the crisis of the fundamentalist approach to religious pluralism. The bottom line: Individuals of the Abrahamic faiths share basic, human values.
As Karen Armstrong, author of The History of God, states at the opening of the film: "Jews, Christians, and Muslims have developed markedly similar notions of the divine though often working in isolation and hostility with one another." The filmmakers highlight the many different ways that the Islamic way of life parallels the Jewish way of life, the fact that all three religions worship a compassionate deity and that all adhere to the Ten Commandments.
The lively dialogue also focuses on common misperceptions amongst practitioners of these religions. A major stumbling block for Muslims, for example, is the Christian belief in the Trinity. To many Muslims, this connotes a Christian belief in three Gods.
There are many illuminating references to history. The Golden Age of Spain under Muslim rule involved true collaboration between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in commerce, art and academia. Maimonides philosophized in both Arabic and Hebrew and, when the Jews were exiled from Spain, many sought to dwell in lands ruled by Muslims.
Judea Pearl, father of Danny Pearl, the Wall Street Journal investigative reporter who was murdered in Pakistan by Muslim extremists, calls in Three Faiths, One God for interfaith efforts to reach the Muslim teachers who train students in the teachings of the Koran. He notes that interfaith dialogue with fundamentalists needs to be based on Islam. Karen Armstrong adds: "If we wish to neutralize the fundamentalists of any religion, we need to guarantee them a place under the sun."
A partial list of the distinguished participants in this dialogue include: Bishop John Chane, National Cathedral, Diocese of Washington, DC Dr. Krister Stendahl, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School Dr. Marc Gopin, Director, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, Akbar Ahmen, Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Dr. Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion, Harvard Divinity School, Rabbi Irving Greenburg, Former Chairman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Dr. Maria Menocal, Professor of Medieval Studies, Yale University, Eboo Patel, Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago, ILL, Dr. Jane Smith, Hartford Seminary, Dr. Reuven Firestone, Author of Children of Abraham: Introduction of Judaism for Muslims, Bishop Kenneth Cragg, Church of England, Alma Abdul Hadi Jadallah, Institute for Conflict Analysis, Washington, DC, Rev. John Mack, United Congregational Church of Christ, Washington, DC, and Imam Feisal Rauf, Author of What's Right with Islam.
Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College notes that "The film does not shy away from discussing the tensions between our competing religious systems. It does not try to paper over real differences. But it treats these in a non-polemical way that encourages real consideration of how the great monotheistic religions have interrelated with one another over centuries and millennia." As Chaplains who minister to these three faiths, you will be drawn in.