A month ago, when this column traced the argument of a book with the intriguing title of “Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian,” it was tempting to mention another recent book. “It’s Really All About God” (Jossey-Bass) carries the equally intriguing subtitle: “Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian.”
Samir Selmanovic, the author of the second book, even refers to Paul F. Knitter, the author of the first one, as a friend and mentor. Both books insist that other religious traditions can certainly be more than enemies, more even than innocent bystanders or friendly neighbors. Other religions, both authors claim, are essential resources for enriching one’s own.
But the books are very different. Mr. Knitter’s is the personal testimony of a scholar, carefully set out in theological terms. Mr. Selmanovic’s is the impassioned plea of a pastor and organizer, declaimed in ringing statements, sentence fragments, one-line paragraphs and catchy phrases that stop just short of a motivational speaker’s.
He is a storyteller — and he does have stories to tell. On Tuesday he spread some of those stories out on the dinner table of his Manhattan apartment. Here were photographs, taken in a public photo booth, of his honeymooning parents, his mother from a Roman Catholic family in Slovenia and his father from a Muslim family in Montenegro.
Read more: nytimes.com/2009/11/07/us/07beliefs.html