I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Towards the True Kinship of Faiths by Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho
Published by Little, Brown Book Group Limited on 2012
Source: ARC received from publisher
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No country, no culture, no person today is untouched by what happens in the rest of the world, and globalization presents many challenges. The Dalai Lama understands that the essential task of humanity in the twenty-first century must be to cultivate peaceful coexistence. In this book the Dalai Lama shows how in our globalized world, nations, cultures and individuals can find opportunities to connect through their shared human nature. All faiths turn to compassion as a guiding principle for living a good life. It is the responsibility of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to help develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths, and it is on that basis alone that we can cultivate genuine respect and cooperation.Towards the True Kinship of Faiths is a hopeful yet realistic look at how humanity can embrace a harmonious future.
In a world where we so often focus on what divides us, it is refreshing to read a book that stresses that we don’t have to be in total agreement with someone to treat them with respect and compassion.
While I don’t necessarily prescribe to some of the polytheistic premises of the book, I did enjoy reading this extremely well presented and intelligent consideration of how faiths based on fundamental principles of compassion, love and acceptance should be able to work together rather than causing some of the most destructive rifts and conflicts in human history.
It was extremely interesting to read insights into the major religions of the world – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism – and to see just how much overlap there was in the basic principles.
As I mentioned, I found some points of conflict with my own beliefs, but in general I think that this very readable book covers some very significant points that have come back to me during recent discussions about religious freedom and intolerance. This is a book for both secular readers and those of all faiths. I think this paragraph from the final pages sums up best why the message of the book is so significant:
“On a practical level, without inter-religious understanding, and without peace between secularists and adherents of religion, we cannot build a genuinely compassionate and happier humanity. So it is in the interests of those with a secular disposition not only to care for peaceful coexistence among the religions but also to actively work for tolerant acceptance of the religious world. Bluntly put, this is a matter of human happiness, world peace, and the survival of human beings as a species.”