Author Bruce Feiler and publisher William Morrow will initiate "Abraham Salons," nationwide interfaith discussions, in November.
This "national conversation"—using Abraham as a focal point "for building trust and communication among different religious groups"—will take place in communities across the country Nov. 8-24, though groups may host salons at any time.
"People are saying, 'I want to do something. I want to have my moderate, respectful voice heard—and modest voice heard—as well as the loudest voices,'" Feiler told EthicsDaily.com. "So I invite everyone to join this effort."
Though launched by Feiler and Morrow, the salons are really a grassroots effort, with local groups organizing the events—with the help of a free salon packet available from the author and publisher.
The packet includes: an audio message and letter from Feiler; a copy of Time magazine's recent cover story on Abraham; a transcript of an interview with Feiler; biblical and koranic passages; a discussion guide; and brownie and baklava recipes.
Discussion questions fall into three general categories: the life of Abraham, the children of Abraham, and the legacy of Abraham.
"Consider how your personal story shapes your understanding of the Abraham story," Feiler suggests in the packet. That's just one of several tips he offers participants, the number of whom is growing.
"We have hundreds of people that have signed up to do this," Feiler said. "And for me, it's just a most inspiring thing to watch this catch on."