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Summary of Book

            "The global landscape is a patchwork of faiths- (442). A major feature of religious geography is that no single religion dominates the world. With migration, missionary activities, and refuge movements, religions have shifted from their country of origin. As religions proliferate and interpenetrate geographically, one common response has been the attempt to deny the validity of other religions. In many countries there is tension between the religion, which has been most closely linked with national history and identity, and other religions also practiced or introduced into the country. In some previously communist countries, old animosities between people of different ethnic groups resurfaced with great violence once totalitarian regimes toppled. These intense ethnic and political struggles often pit people in different faiths against each other. "The twentieth-century rush for materialism and secular values has also fanned an increase in fundamentalism- (444). .
             Although fundamentalism may be based on religious motives, it has often been politicized and turned to violent means. At the same time though, that boundaries between religions are hardening in some areas, they are softening in other areas around the world as the interfaith movement gains momentum. This movement has also touched the Rockford area since the early 1990's with the creation of the Rockford Interfaith Council. "There has been a rapid acceleration of interfaith dialogue "the willingness of people of all religions to meet, explore their differences, and appreciate and find enrichment in each other's ways to the divine- (445). There are doctrinal differences on basic issues, such as the cause of and remedy for evil and suffering in the world, or the question of whether the divine is singular, plural, or non theistic. Many people of broad vision have noted that many of the same principles reappear in all traditions.

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