Nov 10: “Dangerous Religious Ideas” Book Discussion with Author Rabbi Dr. Rachel S. Mikva

Rachel Mikva speaking and image of book cover for Dangerous Religious Ideas

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Join us in exploring the role of religion in the public square and other important issues in Rabbi Dr. Rachel S. Mikva’s newest book, Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This book reveals how faith traditions have always passed down tools for self-examination and debate, because all religious ideas–not just extremist ones–can cause harm, even as they also embody important moral teachings.

Scripture’s abiding relevance can inspire great goodness, such as welcoming the stranger and extending compassion for the poor. But its authority has also been wielded to defend slavery, marginalize LGBTQ individuals, ignore science, and justify violence. Grounded in close readings of scripture and tradition in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, religious scholar Rachel Mikva shows us that the Abrahamic religions have always been aware of their tremendous power both to harm and to heal. And so they have transmitted their sacred stories along with built-in tools–interpretive traditions–to do the necessary work of taking on dangerous religious ideas and fostering self-critical faith.

Mikva examines how the interpretive methodologies of these religions have identified and grappled with their perilous power and positive potential. Dangerous Religious Ideas reframes the way we talk about faith to create a space where public discussion of religion is more constructive, nuanced, and socially engaged.

Dangerous Religious Ideas book cover

Pre-order available (11/3 release)
Beacon Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound

About the Author

Rabbi Dr. Rachel S. Mikva serves as the Herman E. Schaalman Chair in Jewish Studies and Senior Faculty Fellow of the InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary.  The Institute and the Seminary work at the cutting edge of theological education, training religious leaders who can build bridges across cultural and religious difference for the critical work of social transformation.  With a passion for justice and academic expertise in the history of scriptural interpretation, Rabbi Mikva’s courses and publications address a range of Jewish and comparative studies, with a special interest in the intersections of sacred texts, culture and ethics. In addition to her most recent book, Dangerous Religious Ideas, Rabbi Mikva is working on a textbook for graduate and undergraduate students, Interreligious Studies: An Introduction, to be published by Cambridge University Press.