Always looming in the background is a continuum of religious attitudes—at one end is pluralism and at the other end, intolerance. The meaning of the title of Patel’s book: Acts of Faith can be interpreted as underscoring the union of a profound journey and exploration of faith with the powerful expression of social action. He notes: "Religious pluralism is neither mere coexistence nor forced consensus. If you’re not building. In his words, “This is a story of returning to faith, of finding coherence, of committing to pluralism, and of the influences I owe my life to” (xix). While the usefulness of Acts of Faith is readily apparent, one seeming limitation might be pointed out. Overall a worthwhile, well written read. Another poignant passage in the book Patel describes is the return to the land of his ancestors to meet with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Study Guide: Acts Of Faith by Eboo Patel (SuperSummary) by SuperSummary (Author) ISBN-13: 978-1688092785. It makes sense though. by Eboo Patel is currently working on a new book that will be published in August 2012. The answer, I believe, lies in the influences young people have, the programs and people who shape their religious identities. Youth, those who are the most vulnerable to influences, are the ones that religious extremists recruit. A further decisive experience was assuming a leadership role at the YMCA Leaders Club, which included one week of training at Leaders School. Patel makes it clear that those committed to pluralism, toleration of all religions, and compassionate service must rise to the occasion and speak with creativity and poignancy to the young and the restless. Patel's story is b. Pluralists have every bit the same capacity to inspire and organize, to channel young people's passions into social justice and service, but tend not to be as proactive. The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, Copyright © 2006 - 2020 by CIStems, Inc., d.b.a. “Brother Wayne,” the Catholic monk who often served as his religious mentor, assured him that helping to bring about changes for the greater good, or, as he put it, “to have wings,” is important in one’s life, but human beings also need “roots” (p. 70), which involve exploring one’s own faith and traditions. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). I read this on the recommendation of two colleagues, and was not disappointed. It's that faith can be a vehicle for violence and intolerance or it can be a channel for service to humanity and compassion, and which path a person takes is completely dependent on early influences. Download. They were disappointed that the occasions were long and boring with no social action initiatives to energize and unite the participants. CURRENT EVENTS & SOCIAL ISSUES, by ( Log Out / Patel has received much acclaim, on the one hand, for the book’s honesty in portraying his struggles and successes as a youth searching for meaning and purpose, and, on the other, for its sublime and ambitious goal: to propose a means to transform the destructive religious conflict that pervades our diverse world into a movement of interfaith cooperation.The Interfaith Youth Core is now a highly successful movement, and it is fascinating to read how both author and movement developed and matured—each influencing the other. Here he developed confidence and leadership skills as well as learned how to contribute to the social good. He manages to weave these three threads together into a really engaging story. I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. Introduction: The Faith Line. This book is outstanding, and really makes me want to learn more about Patel and his organization. His memoir is at times overloaded with detail, but it’s an entertaining page-turner that juxtaposes youthful mistakes with remarkable moments of insight. It is shallow, but it has been this way for decades and I find it very hard for it to change anytime soon. Different types of small groups with particular goals help “to turn an idea into reality” (p. 45). Patel is getting a lot of attention for his work, but frankly, it is not because of his writing. Patel is an excellent writer and his journey from "white-washed" suburban desi to realistic pluralistic (after a stint as a revolutionary marxist) was riveting and inspiring. Patel does not appear (in my reading of his work) to address the issue that pluralism is paradoxically exclusive although the criticism is often brought up in various works that criticize liberal worldviews (see Glanzer & Ream, 2009, for example). Part autobiographical, part visionary, Acts of Faith recounts Patel's coming of age as an Indian-American Muslim alongside the development of a vision for a viable, pluralist America. As I begin to read Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel and see his perspective on his religious faith of being a Muslim I can sort of relate. and I felt my heart soften as I thought about what this situation must look like to them, barely out of babyhood and aching with a need to run and play while an old man at the front of the room talks about things to which. Nice story, with a genuinely interesting message. It is the belief that the common good is best served when each community has a chance to make its unique contribution.". Sometimes, I thought, my activist friends hated the system more than they loved humanity. Are there sections of this book that, to the casual reader, may seem a little overdone and ultimately extraneous (for instan. Providing a specific goal that incorporates active engagement, ways to strengthen one’s spiritual growth, and connection with fellow participants and the larger social community helps to bring communities, action, faith, and service together by means of purposeful challenges and rewards. There are several things the author advocates that resonated with me: 1) acknowledging the power of institutions to influence an individual's thought (and thus behavior); 2) focusing on youth as the drivers of social change; and 3) making service the nexus point for dialogue and collaboration. Tallahassee, FL 32306, FSU Directory Assistance As he grew older, Patel struggled to “fit in as a brown kid in a white world” (p. 23). When we first meet someone, we automatically judge them. Eboo Patel, by Trouble is, religious extremists of all stripes are opening schools and programs to indoctrinate these youth in acts of violence. 181-2). POLITICS Patel describes his upbringing in Chicago as an Ismaili Muslim, his debt of gratitude to an inspiring teacher, his experiences with the YMCA, and his dating a Mormon girl. When I was younger I felt the same way Patel did. . During his education as a Rhodes Scholar, he studied Islam under the direction of Azim Nanzi, an Islamic studies professor and director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. A small organizational model should be perfected, tried, and tested before expanding it (p. 157). Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. Business and other community leaders were reluctant to support a religious, rather than a secular cause, and religious leaders were inclined to promote only their own faith because, they lamented, they had little time to “reach” their own young people, and it was not a “high enough priority to spend that precious time exposing them to others” (p. 164). This is a truly hope-inspiring read. Young people from different faith communities would share how common values in diverse faith communities such as “hospitality, cooperation, compassion, mercy” (p. 166) would be uniquely treated in their distinctive religions. I couldn't put this book down, as I was filled with a range of emotions. RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2007. But that potentially extraneous material, it seems to me, is important in helping us understand Patel's ethos and really seeing where this movement is coming from. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Retrieve credentials. It is at the point in the book that two important projects in Patel’s life are brought into clearer focus: his search for a personal identity and the early formation of a groundbreaking, grassroots interfaith youth movement. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Key Figures. Acts Of Faith. Face-to-face dialogue invites us to become attentive to difference as well as commonality—and to take such difference seriously, we must allow ourselves the freedom to change and know that we might in turn change others.
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