By Sara Cupp Smith, Sajjad Gheytasi, and Glen Smith. Self-published, 2022. 192 pages. $33/hardcover; $25/paperback; $3/eBook.
Living Suns is a full-color book that highlights congruent views found in Islam and Christianity. The beginning of the book contains short reflections from academics from various countries who discuss interfaith peacemaking. The pages after this section juxtapose short passages from the Qur’an with similarly themed portions of the Bible. Passages from the Qur’an are from the 2015 translation by Iranian scholar Ali Salami, and most passages from the Bible are from the 1611 King James Version. The Scriptural quotes sit above short sentences, which are complemented by full-page, supporting images and illustrations, ranging from stimulating to restful in their impact.
Writers of the introductory reflections mention the doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam, particularly divergent beliefs about whether to worship Jesus Christ. One even notes that the authors could have written a book juxtaposing passages from the Qur’an and the Bible that conflict with each other. The writer argues that choosing to present similarities reflects humility and openness to divine leading.
The book would work well as a daily devotional for Friends seeking a starting point for enacting the peace testimony. Because it emphasizes Abraham as the forefather of Christianity and Islam, it could also enable readers to generate spiritual conversations with those of other faiths.
Kathleen Jenkins is the book review editor for Friends Journal. Sharlee DiMenichi is a staff writer for Friends Journal.