Fortress Press

Learning Interreligiously: In the Text, In the World

Learning Interreligiously

In the Text, In the World

Francis X. Clooney SJ (Author)


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Learning Interreligiously offers a series of about one hundred short pieces, written online between 2008 and 2016. They are meant for a wide range of readers interested in interreligious dialogue, interreligious learning, and the realities of encounters between Hinduism and Christianity, and are rich in insights drawn from teaching, travels in America and India, and the author’s research on sacred texts. The author, a Catholic priest who has spent more than forty years learning from Hinduism and observing religion as a plus and minus in today’s world, has much to share with readers. Some pieces were prompted by items in the news, some go deeper into traditions and probe the rich Scriptures and practices going back millennia, some seek simply to provoke fresh thinking, and others invite spiritual reflection. The book is divided into several parts so that readers can focus on individual events that made the news or on longer term and more concerted study. Familiar texts such as the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the Qur’an, and key passages from the New Testament will be considered for their spiritual possibilities. Readers will find much here to learn from and respond to as they too consider religion in today’s world. 

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506417714
  • eBook ISBN 9781506440132
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 300
  • Publication Date June 1, 2018


 Fascinating, provocative and beautifully written.

"A brilliant collection of essays by one of the world's leading scholars on interreligious dialogue and learning. Let me just say that nothing I've ever read by Father Clooney is ever anything less than fascinating, provocative and beautifully written. These essays, a delight to read and ponder, are a kind of master class in which you will learn an enormous amount about a wide variety religious and spiritual traditions–including your own. Highly recommended."

James Martin, SJ | author of "Jesus: A Pilgrimage"

Necessary reading for all who are trying to live a life of faith.

"Francis Clooney’s comparative engagements with a diverse array of religious traditions and his reports from the frontiers of contemporary interreligious dialogue are necessary reading for all who are trying to live a life of faith in this difficult moment."

Stephanie Paulsell | Harvard Divinity School

A rare book of relatively short reflections that combines scholarly integrity with religious sensibility.

"Today’s world is growing increasingly diverse in every way, which makes any meaningful and transformative study of religion necessarily interreligious. Learning Interreligiously is a rare book of relatively short reflections that combines scholarly integrity with religious sensibility. Francis Clooney effortlessly crosses religious boundaries as he reflects over issues that impact not only religions in general but also religions in dialogue with one another. What invests his writing with immense power is his breadth of vision and depth of thought and, above all, his ability to see truth and light in religions other than his own. The book is persuasive without being overbearing, offering the readers freedom to think and inviting them to arrive at their own conclusions. This is a book that widens our horizons in a way that helps to not only learn but also live interreligiously."

Swami Tyagananda | Director, Vedanta Society of Boston

An intriguing journey of discovery across religious borders.

"Francis X. Clooney, SJ, is the quintessential teacher, passionate about his subject of interreligious learning. Whether instructing students at Harvard, preaching in his parish church on Sundays, writing articles, or posting blogs online, he expertly leads his audience on an intriguing journey of discovery across religious borders. This volume features a selection of his blog posts, in which he either expertly places readings from the Church’s liturgical calendar alongside texts from other faith traditions, or else he wrestles with noteworthy developments in the contemporary world. Deeming ignorance of another’s belief system “a moral and spiritual failing” that generates personal and societal problems, Clooney invites us to consider such topics as, 'At Pentecost the Spirit Blows, Interreligiously'; or again, 'So What, if Barack Hussein Obama were a Muslim?' The reflective nature of the blogs and their ability to challenge the status quo guarantee a fascinating and informative read."

Anita C. Ray | Australian Catholic University