Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Scholar and author Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva of Chicago Theological Seminary discusses her book, Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In Dangerous Religious Ideas, Rabbi Mikva argues all religious ideas are dangerous—not only those we might consider extremist, but even those that stand at the heart of faith. Because most religious traditions have always understood this peril, they have transmitted tools of self-critique as essential to their teachings.

Putting Jewish thought and practice in conversation with Christianity and Islam, the book explores the common challenges of dealing with Scriptures that can inspire great goodness but also justify oppression, and the myriad ways that the potential for blessing in religion is bound up with its potential for harm. Repeatedly, this work leads back to the public square, where we must discern the proper role of religion in our common life.