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Seeking Common Ground: A Theist/Atheist Dialogue

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Seeking Common Ground is a dialogue between an atheist philosopher and a Catholic theologian. It is about religion and nonreligion, as well as about dialogue itself. The book provides a framework for dialogue grounded in seven key values: Harmony, Courage, Humility, Curiosity, Honesty, Compassion, and Honor. Unlike typical "debates" about religion and atheism, Fiala and Admirand show that atheists and theists can work together on projects of mutual understanding. They explore the terrain of religion and nonreligion, discussing a range of sources, topics, issues, and concerns, including: adventures in interfaith dialogue, challenging ethical issues, problems interpreting biblical texts, the growth of secularism, and the importance of ritual and community. The authors show that it is possible to disagree about religion while also seeking common ground. The book includes a foreword by Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the U.S. Interfaith Alliance.

  • Provides a framework for dialogue grounded in seven key values
  • Explores the terrain of religion and nonreligion, discussing a range of sources, topics, issues, and concerns
  • Attempts to demonstrate that a dialogue between an atheist and a theist is possible and to show they can have something to learn from each other

On Virtue and Dialogue

  • Narratives of Faith, Doubt, and Unbelief
  • Dialogue: Virtues and Contexts

Seven Virtues in Dialogue

  • Harmony and the Global Ecosystem of Belief Response
  • Courage and the Existential Leap Response: What Am I?
  • Humility through Dogs and Dickens Response
  • Curiosity: Dialogues within Dialogues Response: Did Fear of Curiosity Kill God? Seeking Holy Curiosity Response
  • Being Honest about Our Differences Response: Reckoning and a Surrender
  • Compassion (of God and Outlaws) Response
  • Honor and the Holy Response: The Last Word

Closing Dialogues

  • Dublin and Fresno—An Epistolary Exchange
In a divided America, this book helps us with the dialogue that is needed so we can come together to tackle our common problems. Fiala is an atheist philosopher; Admirand, a Catholic theologian. Their dialogue, captured in this splendid book, is not intended to convert the other, but to help us to better understand each other.

—Amir Hussain, chair and professor, Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University

Andrew Fiala and Peter Admirand provide a model for what respectful and committed dialogue can look like. They boldly address the hard questions with insight, and while never flinching from acknowledging the many differences that atheists and Christians have, they conduct their dialogue seeking common ground and mutual respectful understanding. Their guiding values, or seven virtues, are a welcome addition to wider reflections on dialogue.

—Paul Hedges, associate professor, Studies in Interreligious Relations in Plural Societies Program, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

What do an atheistic philosopher in California and a Catholic theologian in Ireland have to talk about? Plenty, as it turns out! Drawing on an impressive range of thinkers and texts from the worlds of religion, philosophy, literature, and popular culture, along with their own personal experiences, Fiala and Admirand provide an excellent introduction to the practice of dialogue and its potential for finding common ground among those who hold disparate worldviews.

—Bruce Grelle, director, Religion and Public Education Project, Department of Comparative Religion and Humanities, California State University, Chico


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    Digital list price: $34.99
    Save $7.00 (20%)