Books that Open Doors to Peace

The following are books that members of our region’s CCs and Affiliates have found valuable in their interfaith work and growth.  We’re always looking for new titles. Please contact us.

If you would like to add one to your personal library or give it as a gift, follow the Order Direct link next to the item or take the Amazon doorway on the right. Either way, URI in North America benefits.

Featured Books

»  Published by URI North America CCs and Affiliates:

Cover of Understanding Islam: Fifty QuestionsUnderstanding Islam: Fifty Questions
by Dr. Amer Salih Araim.

Dr. Araim was born in Iraq, earned his B.A. in law in Baghdad and M.A. and Ph.D in New York and teaches at Diablo Valley College in dthe East Bay. Araim served in the Iraqi Foreign Service and then for more than two decades as a foreign policy specialist with the UN, specializing in global movements against Apartheid and Colonization. Araim has served as an Imam since 1999. Following 9/11, he spoke widely about Islam and discovered that many Americans want to know more about Islam. Araim has devoted his life to improving Americans’ understanding of Islam and US relations with Moslem countries. Dr. Amer Araim is on the executive committee of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, a URI Cooperation Circle.

Topics: Interfaith Understanding, Countering Islamophobia
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in North America

Love God Heal Earth book coverLove God, Heal Earth
by Rev Sally Bingham of Interfaith Power & Light

What does it take to power a great awakening about Earth’s environmental crisis? Until recently, science has been alone in sounding the alarms while many religious leaders have held back, viewing global warming as a purely secular issue. Now, in an unprecedented demonstration of unity and moral purpose, religious voices from across the spectrum–liberal, conservative, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists–are joining in one of the largest movements in human history…declaring the environment to be an urgent matter of faith. In Love God, Heal Earth, the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham brings together 21 highly regarded spiritual leaders from diverse faiths to make the case for environmental stewardship and show how their faith communities are tackling the issue of religion and environment.

Topics: Interfaith and Sustainability
Order Direct

My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey cover by Pamay BaseyMy 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey
by Pamay Bassey

My 52 Weeks of Worship is a clever and unusual look at one woman’s journey to regain her spirituality. Pamay Bassey has done what most people could never even imagine–spending one day each week in a different house of worship. That effort and commitment taught her the universality of community, the joy of sharing, the importance of respect, and the pride that people who are committed to religion feel about their churches, synagogues, and mosques. Most of all, she learned that there is dignity in worship–however you practice it–and that all people must find their own way to a more fulfilling life. We can all learn from her experience.

Topics: Interfaith Experience
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in North America

Forgiving the Unforgivable CoverForgiving the Unforgivable: Experience the Power of Holistic Living

The True Story of How Survivors of the Mumbai Terrorist Attack Answered Hatred with Compassion. By Master Charles Cannon with Will Wilkinson.

Topics: Nonviolence
Order via the author’s website

Practising the Art of Compassionate Listening coverPracticing the Art of Compassionate Listening
by Andrea Cohen, with Leah Green and Susan Partnow

This practical “how to” book provides a step-by-step approach to helping you implement the practices of Compassionate Listening into your daily life. Whether you’re challenged by self-judgments — or by conflicts in your family, workplace or community, the practices of Compassionate Listening can provide a solid foundation upon which to bring greater peace, understanding and healing into your world.

Topics: Compassion
Order Direct

The Quantum God book cover by Rev John DenkerThe Quantum God: (Why Our Grandchildren Won’t Know Atheism)
by John Denker

As heretical as it may sound to the modern orthodox views of both science and religion, science has proved God to be real. The classic questions about God’s existence are addressed through the use of modern physics. Most people will be surprised, if not shocked, by what modern science has to say. Rev Denker is a member of the URI in North America Leadership Council.

Topics: Interfaith Thought
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in North America

Religious Diversity and Children's Literature coverReligious Diversity and Children’s Literature
by Connie R. Green and Sandra Brenneman Oldendorf, Appalachian State University

Expensive but worth it. This book is an invaluable resource for enabling teachers, religious educators, and families to learn about religious diversity themselves and to teach children about both their own religion as well as the beliefs of others. The traditions featured include indigenous beliefs throughout the world, Native American spirituality, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity (Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism), Islam, Sikhism, and other beliefs such as Bahá’í, Unitarian Universalism, Humanism, and Atheism. Each chapter highlights a specific religion or spiritual tradition with a brief discussion about major beliefs, misconceptions, sacred texts, and holy days or celebrations. This summary of each tradition is followed by extensive annotated recommendations for children’s and adolescent literature as well as suggested teaching strategies.
Topics: Interfaith Education and Understanding
Purchase Direct

Make a Difference 101: Community Service, a Practical Step-by-step Guide for Kids by Sande Hart.
A Fun and easy workbook to help you figure out what you want to do and who you want to help and all you need to make it happen!A 13 step-by-step guide to help you take your own ideas, special interests & talents & turn them into empowering and effective community service projects that your entire community can participate in. Make a Difference  Community Service teen empowerment make a difference make a difference community service community make a difference community service community service communityThis is one case where you should get M.A.D.Topics: Community Service, EducationPurchase direct from the Author
Cover of Understanding Make a Difference
Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East by Rabbi Michael LernerA major modern conundrum is how the Arab/Israel conflict remains unresolved and, seemingly, unresolvable. In this inspirational book, Rabbi Michael Lerner suggests that a change in consciousness is crucial. With clarity and honesty, he examines how the mutual demonization and discounting of each sides’ legitimate needs drive the debate, and he points to new ways of thinking that can lead to a solution.Topics: Middle East PeaceOrder via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
Embracing Israel / Palestine book cover

The 11 Karmic Spaces: Choosing freedom from the patterns that bind you
 by Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati,founder of URI in N.Am. CC, the Kashi FoundationThe 11 Karmic Spaces reveals how and why most of us become stuck by karma and our habitual patterns of action and reaction. We learn that although karma is a spiritual law, we do not have to be bound by it. Through awareness, intuition and grace, it is possible to choose freedom from Karma. Ma Jaya shows us how..  Thereview by Devadatta Kali is well worth a look.Topics: Inner Peace
Order Direct
The 11 Karmic Spaces book cover
A  Greater Democracy Day by Day by Sally Mahe and Kathy Covert A Greater Democracy Day by Day by Sally Mahe and Kathy Covert. A Greater Democracy Day by Day rehabilitates the word “democracy” by bringing together 365 thought-provoking quotes from around the world and through time, all centered on this concept that is the keystone of modern society. The book presents a theme for each month and a quote about that theme to ponder on each day of the year.Topics: Nonviolence
Order via the author’s website .
The Sacred Art of Listening by Kay LindahlDesigned to illumine your spiritual journey, this book provides access to a new way of listening—to Source, to self and to others. By expanding your awareness of listening and broadening your concept of listening you will learn to:

  • Enhance your capacity to listen to people with different belief systems.
  • Heighten your awareness and sensitivity to opportunities for deep listening.
  • Communicate with courage and compassion.
  • Speak clearly from the heart.

Today’s pace of life leaves little room for reflection and listening. This engaging book of inspired reflections and extraordinary illustrations guides you to take time for yourself and listen from the essence of your being.

Other books are also available from Kay Lindahl notably including a children’s book, How Does God Listen?.

Topics: Interfaith Understanding, nonviolence
Order Direct

The Sacred Art of Listening book cover
Healing Inner Spirit: A Beginner's Guide to Sacred Psychology and Hypnotherapy Healing Inner Spirit: A Beginner’s Guide to Sacred Psychology and Hypnotherapy by Jamal Rahman of theInterfaith Community Church in Seattle and Ed Eykholt.Healing Inner Spirit provides mental health counselors and related professionals a healing framework known as Sacred Psychology, which is inspired by timeless insights and techniques common among many faith and wisdom traditions. We explore how to help clients become mindful, recognize their inner divine attributes, and cultivate self-compassion in order to work on a variety of issues ranging from diminishing destructive habits to evolving into the fullness of one’s being.Topics:   Interfaith Understanding
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
Self Improvement Book
Choices – by Dr. Deri Joy Ronis of the Center for Religious Tolerance
CHOICES and Self Esteem: Learning to Respect Yourselfis a user friendly workbook for adolescents and teenagers. It will also help parents, educators and anyone who works with this population. It contains thirty pages of helpful exercises that can be done alone or in groups. Empty pages are provided for the reader to use in creating their own artwork or stories to express feelings and ideas. The workbook originated from Dr. Ronis’ experiences in working with children and teens for over three decades.Topics: Youth
Order DirectAlso by Dr. Ronis, Bridging the Gap to Peace: From a New Way of Thinking into ActionPurchase via Amazon to benefit URI in North America.  From the forward by Bishop Swing of URI: “As the population of the world squeezes more and more people together into tighter confines, the fork-in-the-road will of necessity be pointing towards old habits of brutality, or new ventures towards respectful living. This book is a bright signpost along the way to peace.”
Choices and Self Esteem Workbook  Covercover of Bridging  the Gap
Reach to Peace book cover by Rosalind Russell Reach to Peace by Rosalind Russell may be purchased Rosalind describes her book this way: “FYI, the REACH TO PEACE book is a tool, not a literary masterpiece. It is short and attractive, already getting us attention on the area of our peace work.” Rosalind has accomplished and continues to provide great service for the Women and Children of Nepal. You can learn more in her book or by going to her website.Topics: Peace Education
Purchase via the R*Star Foundation Website
Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power“This empowering resource engages women in an interactive exploration of the challenges and opportunities on the frontier of women’s spiritual leadership. Through the voices of North American women representing a matrix of diversity–ethnically, spiritually, religiously, generationally and geographically–this book will inspire women to new expressions of their own personal leadership and invite them into powerful collaborative action.”Co-authored by: Kathe Schaaf, a co-founder of Gather the Women Global Matrix, has convened numerous collaborative conversations engaging women and women’s organizations * Kay Lindahl, a Certified Listening Professional and founder of The Listening Center, is author of The Sacred Art of Listening * Kathleen S.Hurty, PhD, a teaching fellow in leadership studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, is an educator, a grant writer and a public speaker * Reverend Guo Cheen is an ordained Buddhist nun * All four are ambassadors for the Council for the Parliament of World Religions and co-conveners of Women of Spirit and Faith.Topics: Interfaith Understanding, Women and Spirituality –
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N. Am.
Cover of Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership
One Life Alliance Pledge: 30 Days to Honor the Sacredness of Life cover by Kia Scherr One Life Alliance Pledge: 30 Days to Honor the Sacredness of Life by Kia Scherr of the One Life Alliance.Customer review by Grace33 on Amazon: At first glance this appears to be a simple little book. But in fact, these daily practices contain deep philosophical truths put into action. This 30 day program is a distillation of the work of spiritual masters, philosophers and quantum physicists, simply presented in a form that YOU can follow. Try it. Be the expression of who you truly are. The Force is with you. For realz.Topics:   Interfaith Understanding
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
World Scriptures & World Scriptures, Vol. 2: Guiding Principles for an Awakening World by Rev. Leland StewartWorld Scriptures brought us the essence of the world’s historic religions and some which began in more recent times.  What it did not do was to look at the possibility of a new synthesis, including many new teachings that have emerged since the time of the earlier religions and looking toward an emerging global civilization.  It is the combination of World Scriptures and World Scriptures, Vol. 2 that brings together the essence of our universal heritage and helps to provide a new worldview and basis of faith for this age.Rev. Leland Stewart has searched the writings of the holy books of the world to record in shortened form (using the original texts) the foundational principles and beliefs of the world’s religions and spiritual movements.  These books are ideal for personal study and meditation, as well as for use in classes which seek to build bridges between different faiths.  Rev. Stewart is founder and leader of the Unity-and-Diversity World Council, a Cooperation Circle of URI in North America.Topics: Interfaith Understanding
Order Direct
World Scriptures  book cover
Everest: A Climb for Peace
Everest: A Climb for Peace 
by Lance Trumbull, former regional coordinator of the Multiregion.This is a children’s book that chronicles the inspirational journey of ‘Peace Climbers’ from different faiths and cultures as they climb to the summit of the tallest mountain in the world. The focus is on Palestinian Ali Bushnaq and Israeli’s Dudu Yifrah and Micha Yaniv.Topics:   Peace, Interfaith Experience
Purchase via the Author’s Website
The Last Moderate Muslim
The Last Moderate Muslim 
by Osama Wazan, URI Global Council member from North America and member of the North America Leadership Council.The well reviewed Last Moderate Muslim is a fiction novel. It is inspired by a true story and packs answers to countless questions that westerners have asked such as: Why are Muslims violent? Why do they hate us? Where are the moderates? What in God’s name goes through the mind of a suicide bomber?Topics:   Middle East Peace, Interfaith Understanding
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
Spiritual Power of Nonviolence book cover 
The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War
 by Prof. George WolfeReligion and violence — the two concepts seem incompatible given the emphasis in religion on virtue, love, forgiveness and compassion. Yet many scriptures contain martial images and stories of god-inspired military conquest. The Spiritual Power of Nonviolenceconfronts this theological contradiction, arguing that martial images and symbols found in religious texts are often meant to be interpreted as metaphors for an inner spiritual struggle and should never be used as a justification for war. The analysis is undertaken from an interfaith perspective that explains many of the paradoxical concepts found in theories of nonviolence. An appeal is also made to restore civil discourse in the public arena, and for politicians and religious leaders to refrain from using religious language when engaging in hawkish political rhetoric.George Wolfe is an interdisciplinary scholar who presents a compelling case for the sustainability paradigm and for offering peace education and interreligious dialogue on a global scale. Professor Wolfe probes the scriptures of the world proving that nonviolence is a shared virtue and that the real enemy we must battle against and ultimately defeat is actually within us.  He is URI contact for the Muncie Interfaith Fellowship in Indiana, a Cooperation Circle of URI North America region.George’s book has been endorsed by Bishop William E. Swing, Arun Gandhi, Professor Michael Nagler, Rabbi Raine Teller, and others. To read endorsements, click here.Topics: Nonviolence, Interfaith UnderstandingPurchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
One God, Three Wives, Five Religions by Frances Worthington, long term supporter of the Greenville Area Interfaith Forum, a URI Cooperation Circle. By examining the scripture and traditions of the five “Abrahamic” faiths, Frances provides us with a better understanding of our shared heritage, as well as, how the faiths diverge into their own unique perspectives.Topics: Interfaith Understanding, Countering Islamophobia
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.
Cover of One God, Three Wives, Five Religions

Books recommended by CCs and Affiliates:
The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by the Arbinger Institute. Insightful explanation of the sources of interpersonal conflict of all kinds, and a roadmap out of it.

Topics:  Learning Nonviolence
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.



Arab Voices by James Zogby. “An informative and readable book that avoids the reductionism, demonology, and
victimology that all too often taint treatment of this subject.”–Foreign Affairs

Topics:  Middle East, Countering Islamophobia


Exploring the Promises  an audio book by John MacDougall of the Recovery Church in Saint Paul, MN. Recommended by Global Trustee Anne Roth. Also available on iTunes. See too A Fit Spiritual Condition.

Topics:  Personal Sustainability
Purchase via CD Baby


The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner. Three women a Muslim a Jew and a Christian in search of understanding.

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


Friendship and Faith: The Wisdom of Women Creating Alliances for Peace How thirty women from seven different faith groups crossed religious, cultural, and racial divides to build meaningful connections.

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding, Interfaith Collaboration
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


Gaia’s Emissary  a work of visionary fiction by Suzanne Fensin.  Recommended by URI in North America’s very own Ardisanne Turner. Our world is in crisis….. If you look at the world today and wonder What The Heck Is Happening?….. Why is it happening?…… How can we fix it before it’s too late?…… Would you like to experience this current reality from a very different perspective?…. If so, this book’s a must read for you.

Topics:  Sustainability
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


Getting to the Heart of Interfaith by “The Three Interfaith Amigos”, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Sheikh Jamal Rahman, and Pastor Don Mackenzie.

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


The Interfaith Ecology Movement – Doctoral Thesis by Elyse Joanne Rider, URI CC member from Australia. Subjecs covered include: Religion * Environmentalism *  Participatory action research * Panpsychism * New social movements * Globalisation * Eco-spirituality * Interfaith * Multi-faith * Green movement * Cultural diversity * Eco-faith.

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding, sustainability
free download: Monash University ARROW Repository


Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hatred: Causes and Remedies

Topics:  Countering Islamophobia, Interfaith Understanding
free download: The Cordoba Foundation

Leadership in the Face of Religious Bigotry A Resource for Campus Leaders

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding, Collaboration, Youth
free download: Interfaith Youth Core



Minefields & Miracles Cover

Minefields and Miracles: A Global Adventure in Interfaith by Ruth Broyde Sharone – endorsed by several URI leaders as well as many many others.

Topics:  Interfaith Understanding

The Moral Imagination: the Art and Soul of Building Peace by John Paul Lederach. “We will seek to understand those who do not understand us.” On the basis of formulating and living such an idea, this group has created an unimaginably peaceful space for their children and grandchildren over two decades.

Topics:   Learning Nonviolence, Interfaith Collaboration
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.



Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions and Complexities by Reza Aslan and Abraham’s Vision co-director Aaron Hahn Tapper.  An exploration of contemporary Jewish-Muslim relations in the United States and the distinct and often creative ways in which these two communities interact with one another in the American context. Each of the book’s sixteen essays discusses a different episode from the recent twentieth and current twenty-first century American milieu that links these two groups together.

Topics:   Interfaith Collaboration
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshal Rosenberg with forward by Arun Gandhi. Tools for learning how to listen and communicate beyond conflict.

Topics:  Learning Nonviolence
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.



The Qur’an and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad  Selections annotated and explained by Sohaib Sultan, the Imam at Princeton University

Topics:   Interfaith Understanding, Countering Islamophobia
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.



Connecting.calm Cover PhotoReconnecting.calm: Finding Common Ground for Science, Technology and Faith  by Tom Mahon: a book for individuals and communities concerned about the ever-growing culture of technology into which we are all increasingly immersed and enmeshed. The book outlines a path away from the present model of constantly having to double the pace of our lives every 12-18 months to keep up with advances in electronics, and instead offers a way for individuals and groups to reclaim a human and humane handle on our tools so they serve us now, instead of the other way around.

Topics:   Interfaith Understanding, humanity
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.



Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power – and How They Can Be Restored Sets free Christian language from contemporary literalism. Highly recommended by David “Sky” Enroth, individual affiliate of URI in N.Am.

Topics:   Interfaith Understanding, Learning Nonviolence
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.


Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The nonprofit project that changed history in Pakistan. Also Stones Into Schools by the same author, on their project’s extension into Afghanistan.

Topics:  Learning Nonviolence, Countering Islamophobia
Purchase via Amazon to benefit URI in N.Am.