Dr. Loris Gillin explores catalysts to societal aggression in this brief look at the influence and connections between three main monotheistic world religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Gillin notes in her Preface that, “The key to this book is to try to examine, in the cool light of day, two of the antagonisms which divide and separate people… racism and ‘beliefism.” What follows, however, is a wide-ranging discussion that veers off in many directions.
Among the many ideas explored, the author compares America’s Black Lives Matter movement with the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issue in her native Australia, warning that “protest…for a sectional interest threatens all acceptable civility.” She also writes that when “practice of belief becomes extreme or unbalanced, we can “lose sight of respect” and be driven to antagonism.
Gillin compares the history of those within the three main monotheistic religions—people she dubs “Adam’s race”—and challenges readers to consider that “part of forming a healthy adult identity calls for the individual to make a Godly response to ‘things of the Spirit,’” encouraging readers toward faith in Jesus Christ.
Just shy of 80 pages, Gillin’s work is brief—but not concise or easy to follow. Her focus shifts from a disjointed discussion of current and past social issues to a meandering travelogue to paraphrased retellings of religious histories—without much tying them together. The narrative rambles: When discussing her travel experiences, for example, Gillin detours off track with mundane details such as meal prep, the various artwork she purchased, and running into a friend named Rachel.
Typographical errors, missing references for Bible quotes, convoluted sentences and sloppy formatting give the book an unpolished feel and add to the frustration.
Ultimately, it seems Gillin’s overall message is about looking beyond the boundaries of ancestral religions and being respectful of all peoples. But the jumbled presentation makes it a challenge to discern her many and varied ideas throughout.
Also available as an ebook.