Not In God's Name
Making Sense of Religious Conflict
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Today divisions between faiths ravage our world. At any given time, there are fifty conflicts being fought in the name of religion. Not in Godís Name examines why religious clashes are on the rise, and why different creeds often donít live in harmony with each other. Since time immemorial humankind has searched for something greater than ourselves, and has found immense inspiration through belief in a higher power. But religion, a source of great peace, is sometimes used to create division and strife. The nonfiction book, Not in Godís Name: Making Sense of Religious Conflict examines the question Ė ďWhy do people kill in the name of God?Ē
Paula Fouce went on a quest to answer this question after a life-altering event, when she witnessed first-hand violent acts committed by people in the name of their faith. In 1984, following the assassination of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, she was trapped in a religious riot. Hindus who were looking for Sikhs to murder in revenge halted a bus she was traveling on, and her life was threatened. The country exploded in days of blood letting. Two Sikhs who were trapped in the violence relate their stories.
India, with a population of 1.2 billion, is a microcosm of our world, and the cradle of many of the worldís great faiths. Normally these religions co-exist peacefully despite extremely close quarters. Paula studied teachers of several faith traditions there, and worked in India, Nepal, Kashmir, Pakistan, Tibet, Bhutan and Afghanistan for several years. Her experience up to the time of the riot was peaceful. Now many of these regions have transformed into hotbeds of violence, even to the point of nuclear confrontation.
Perhaps the most famous of the leaders Paula interviewed are Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama, who shared his insights into ways to break the tragic cycle of violence. She followed his guidance on her quest, and produced a film about it that aired on PBS. This book is an account of her journey. Not in Godís Name searches for the causes of religious intolerance, and the solutions. Examining this global problem brought her to the doorsteps of the leaders of many faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism. She visited madrassas to dialogue with Muslims. Not in God's Name includes interviews with Steve Ross, who was trapped in the Oberoi Hotel during the Mumbai attacks, Dr. Robert Hayward, who rescued victims at the Twin Towers on 9/11, and Mark Jurgensmeyer, a prominent authority on the causes of religious terrorism.
Even in the United States, where freedom of religion is a fundamental right of every citizen, differing religious views have caused deadly consequences over such matters as abortion rights, and have forced airport security to tighten. Not in Godís Name scrutinizes the role that politics, territorial disputes, the exclusive claim to truth, and lack of education and economic opportunity play in perpetuating this cycle of aggression.
Nowadays a groundbreaking solution to religious intolerance is spreading in the scientific community: compassion training. Research of compassionís effect on the human brain has created a movement to teach compassion training in schools. It is gaining strength, and is one tool that promises to help transform the plague of religious hatred that threatens the peaceful existence of our world.
NOT IN GODíS NAME - The Book
March 10, 2015 at 9:15AM EST
on WOBM 1160 AM
Ocean County, NJ
or go to www.preferredradio.com and
click on the 'listen live' banner
March 13, 2015 at 1:00PM EST
With Stu Briar
In this illuminating book Paula Fouce not only tells a compelling personal story, she also leads us through a deeply-layered understanding of the religious strife still present in our postmodern times, offering an optimistic view of the prospect of reconciliation and healing.
Michael Bernard Beckwith
author of Spiritual Liberation
With the passion and authority of an eyewitness, Paula Fouce documents the origins of religious violence and the urgent threat it poses to the world. And with the insight of a long-time meditative practitioner, she demonstrates persuasively that this spiritual problem demands a spiritual solution.
Dean Sluyter, author of Natural Meditation
Not In Godís Name resonates as a prayer and a plea to end our era of anachronistic, heartbreaking religious conflict. But itís message is also practical. Paula Fouce recognizes that true compassion and respect for religious diversity arise from the experience of the spiritual essence that we share. The book is a welcome addition to the growing awareness of the Vedic precept, ďTruth is One; the wise call it by many names.Ē
Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West