“Ever since I was a little girl, I have been drawn to the living heart of every spiritual tradition I have encountered. Like a night wanderer who comes across a sanctuary in the woods, I peer through the stained-glass window, aching to enter and bow down at the altar I see blazing within.”
With those tantalizing words Mirabai Starr, professor of philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico, opens her book God of Love: A guide to the heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Although Starr first developed an ever-deepening spiritual thirst from an early age, for many years she followed her family’s traditional rejection of Judaeo-Christian religions. As she puts it, “I tried to cultivate a general attitude of condemnation toward all religious institutions for being naive, patriarchal, and potentially dangerous.“
However, all of this changed and later on, as a teenager, she embarked upon an intense exploration of a diverse range of traditional religious practices. Her investigations proved to be so transformative that the author eventually came to view her life-path as one that was guiding her towards being active in building bridges between all faiths.
Unifying the Trinity
God of Love explores the author’s belief that a common core exists with the heart of the world’s primary monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In support of this Starr offers an overview of the basic religious teachings of each, reveals the stories of their associated saints and masters, and highlights common calls within each for social justice and universal peace.
Her approach throughout the book is not intensely religious. Neither is this a dry and dusty treatise on speculative theology for throughout its pages Starr adds to the narrative her own experience and understanding of the Divine. Within her commentary regarding the basics of religious doctrine she infuses her own vast knowledge and personal experience of practical religion and spirituality.
The consequence of her many years of devotion to the journey of unification leads Starr to the conclusion that despite their apparent antagonism towards each other, the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths can be reconciled and unified through their common core values.
As she points out in the conclusion to her book “See if the God of Love shows up when you fire all the other gods.”
God of Love is a rare book for it is a publication that exudes a sense of the Divine so strongly that I swear it almost vibrates to a spiritual force of its own. This is undoubtedly due to the sheer sense of vitality with which its author writes and shares her remarkable spiritual perspective with her readers.
Not knowing quite what to make of this book at first I was pleasantly surprised by how rapidly I found myself being pulled ever deeper into an increasingly enriching and deeply uplifting narrative. Not only does Starr present her arguments in a sound and structured way but she also manages to pitch her discourse at both the academic theologian and at a level that the general reader is able to understand. Not an easy job for anyone less skilled as a writer!
God of Love is a publication that challenges and provokes, heals and energizes It is one that that breathes vital new new life into a tired repository of religious dogma—with the result that their walls shake visibly and barriers come tumbling down. We rate God of Love as a thoroughly recommended and totally absorbing work.