Daughters of Abraham - Women's Interfaith Book Groups
We are Jewish, Christian and Muslim women whowant to deepen our knowledge of our own and one another’s faiths. By reading books that teach us about each other’s faith traditions and learning about the practice of our respective faiths, we hope to increase our respect for all the Abrahamic religions. We are committed to building relationships among us.
Our name emphasizes the common elements that unite us. In all three of our traditions, Abraham is revered as the first monotheist. In a sense, he is the “father” and we can be thought of as his “daughters.” Even though we are “daughters” of different “mothers,” Sarah and Hagar, Abraham is the father of us all. By naming ourselves Daughters of Abraham, we are recognizing that there is more holding us together than separating us.
We are women from all walks of life who are interested in deepening our understanding of ourselves and of each other. We read books that deal with our religions and the practice and experience of living as a religious person. Books can be of various genres: biography, fiction, memoirs, history, poetry, etc. The common thread is that they help us talk together about our experience and help us learn about one another and our religions. Occasionally, groups may include activities that build community or explore one of the three religions through films, visiting a site, sharing music or attending a lecture. However, the focus always returns to understanding each other more deeply by reading books together.
We are book groups with a mission to dismantle stereotypes and build relationships. Each group is comprised of a mix of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women to maximize our opportunities for discussion and learning. Our membership includes college students, mothers, grandmothers, doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, ordained clergy and retirees. We speak from our personal experience; no particular experience, background, education or religious training is required. We read books that reflect the diverse expressions of our religious traditions. We are not interfaith dialogue groups nor do we read books where the focus of the content is political. The goal of our gatherings is the slow, thoughtful work of getting to know each other over a good book in a supportive environment.
How is this different from interfaith dialogue groups?
We see ourselves not as a dialogue group but as a book group focused on discussions of books that touch upon our respective religions. We engage with the books and poetry we read to explore the meanings, shape and practice of our own and one's another's religious experience. We are not an academic study group nor are we official representatives of our religious tradition or theological opinions. Reading and discussing books together creates a "level playing field" for all the Daughters to share their thoughts and personal experience with one another. Our goal is to offer one another a window into our living experience of faith.