In the wake of the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, as tension between Christians and Muslims rises, author David Carlson seeks guidance in the modern-day deserts of monastic communities across America. Are Christianity and Islam destined to confront one other as clashing civilizations? Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World clearly answers "No."
Peace Be with You is the result of more than thirty interviews conducted with abbots, nuns, monks, and even a Mennonite pastor who works at a Franciscan retreat center. Hear the wisdom of these men and women in their own words as they speak with hope to a suffering world. Follow Carlson's moving and at times difficult journey to discover a new, yet ancient basis for genuine peace between Christianity and other religions, especially Islam.
"Sadly," he says, "Jesus has been drafted into this war. But Jesus as the banner-carrier of Christendom or Christian culture has, from the beginning, been unacceptable to me. Also unacceptable is the belief that Jesus gives the Coalition Forces some advantage. Jesus would neither be dressed in military khaki nor would He carry a weapon. This image, to others as well as me, is that of a false Christ."
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Review 1 for Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World
A Reflective Look Back At 9/11
Date:October 6, 2011
Ten years after 9/11, there are a multitude of books out there that speculate on the who’s, what’s, and why’s, but there are few that look back in a reflective and contemplative mood like “Peace Be With You.” Instead of a book placing the blame without, this book examines the struggle within and looks to the ancient wisdom of the monastics. Mr Carlson travels the country to interview several monks and nuns on their thoughts and recollections of 9/11 as well as what we can do as believers in response.
This book was well written, but its strength was in the call for a personal challenge on how we live out our faith. Do we have the courage to look at our “enemies” and seek to know their struggles, where they are coming from, and if there is something we can do? Instead of developing a us-versus-the-world mentality, the suffering of 9/11 is an opportunity to understand that this is something the entire world goes through on a daily basis and in most cases America as a country has built walls instead of building bridges. My favorite part of the book by far was the section on Thomas Merton and his vision of Christ as present in the world. I highly recommend this book if you are able to look past the politics of 9/11 and are willing to take a hard look at your own heart. You will be rewarded if you can.
Disclosure Note: Thomas Nelson has been gracious enough to give me a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.