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Based on over one hundred interviews with people across all faith traditions, this is, first of all, a book of stories, each fascinating and unique. We are invited to read these stories with the express intention of feeling what we have in common with the people whose life stories we find here, whether they are conservative Christian housewives or liberal young Muslim immigrants, Buddhist musicians, or Harley-riding shamans. What does the world look like, sound like, taste like, feel like from that person's point of view? How have they experienced life's formidable mystery? When? Where? What language is their true language of faith? What theology has their life given birth to? What pain and what generosity does their story need to contain? The core theme of this book is what happens to us, as well as others, when we hold their spiritual stories in our imagination as if they could be our own. We may find our understanding of our own spiritual journey shifts, that our own life, in all its twists and turns, is highly resonant with those of out neighbors, whatever their faith. After reading these stories, we may end up feeling securely in the midst whatever our own spiritual journey has consisted of, wherever we find ourselves now-comfortably expanding into the religion of our childhood, deepening our understanding of a new one, or feeling ready to leave, reluctant to join, mute, lifted in song, lost, decisively found. "This is a marvelous read for all interested in the spiritual journeys of others as well as their own. Over 100 interviews with diverse persons from various faith traditions are woven into a narrative that will deepen the reader's own faith as it broadens their understanding of the faith of others." Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr., Professor of Social Psychology, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga "Heather Tosteson knows how to listen past the surface where differences are so evident to the depths where common hopes and dreams are found. What's more--and this is rare--she knows how to describe what she has heard. This book is a model for genuine and generous conversation." Dr. Guy Sayles, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Asheville, NC "God Speaks My Language: Can You? is a valuable and fascinating collection of almost one hundred stories of faith. . . .Tosteson is an astute observer, a courageous and empathetic interviewer, and a splendid writer. She offers her own interpretation of these varied accounts, constructing a plausible typology and suggesting that beneath our commitments to disparate practices and doctrines are personal stories offering glimpses of common religious experiences. This fine book is an invitation to join the conversation about affirming difference in an ever increasing religious pluralism." Dr. John Shelley, Professor of Religion, Furman University Revised Edition
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