Sulayman S. Nyang, Ph.D.
Howard University
Washington, D.C.

"There are five reasons why I am convinced about the timeliness, relevance and historical importance of this venture. First of all, in this age of globalization in which ideas travel as fast as the speed of light year, and human emotions are being traded and taxed daily by the deliberate and skillful manipulations of religious symbols by extremists on both sides of the religious fences of the world, the appearance of a documentary of this caliber reminds the peoples of the books that their brief lives on this planet could be worst than the Hobbesian state of nature: nasty, brutish and short. Building on the intellectual resources of some of America’s best scholars and religious leaders of the three religious traditions, the producers have captured for posterity moments of reflections and high thinking about the human condition and the role and place of these religions and their adherents in our times. Secondly, each frame in this collection of interviews with scholars and religious leaders in the country has much light to shed on the path of enlightenment and engagement in the field of interfaith dialogue. Those who read the Study Guide will find the text readable and enlightening. Those who view the video or DVD, will appreciate the thoughts, time and energy that went into the construction of this edifice of hope. To those who love and appreciate metaphors in human thought and articulation, I can only say that the documentary can be described simultaneously as an emergent symbol of hope for the peoples of the books and its message hopefully would inspire many men and women to see it as a magnetic force that replicates microscopically and audio-visually the drawing power of the Wailing Wall for the Jew, the Christ- celebrating churches of Jerusalem and the Kaaba for the Muslims. A third reason for this endorsement lies in the fact of the exercise. The producers have accomplished a feat that requires patience, open-mindedness and quality control. These qualities in production must also exist among those who wish to dialogue. It should always be remembered that we dialogue not to dilute our faiths, but to dilate on the points of convergence and divergence. It is only with such attitude that peoples can come together and dialogue. The fourth reason for this endorsement rests on the vision that inspires this handiwork. The producers are convinced that there is a new need for human interaction across faith lines. They are willing to bear the burden and accept the challenges that go with the task. Last but not least, the producers have an eye on the future of their descendants in America and beyond. Their documentary could well be seen as an intergenerational present to their grandchildren. Like Julius Caesar, they too wish to say: 'We came; we saw and conquer hate and bigotry in our world.'"


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