Looking for God within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion - creative non-fiction story by AW Schade


An enlightening odyssey every open-minded Atheist, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Agnostic and Spiritual seeker should reflect on!

"Watching helplessly as his 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, is struck by a car and killed shatters the Roman Catholic faith of the protagonist, Jacob A. Hinsen. Plagued by a need to know that God exists and that Jessica is in a safe place, Jacob loads up his backpack and sets off on a journey to investigate the tenets of the West's three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all the while hoping to have a direct encounter with God.

Jacob's journey takes him down major thoroughfares marked, in turn, "The Road to Christianity," "The Road to Islam," and the "Road to Judaism." As he travels these roads to seek out authorities he can question about each faith, he also takes many of the paths that branch off of the main roads: Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism (and its many subpaths) vs. Mormonism; Sunni vs. Shi'a Islam, etc.). On each road or path Jacob visits the person other travelers recommend to him as being articulate spokespersons for their faith.

Although the "roads traveled" resemble a mythical quest, Jacob's conversations as a seeker are never simply academic exercises. He asks probing, insightful questions, listens carefully to the responses, and is quick to point out inconsistencies in his host's explanations. Neither are the religious authorities Jacob visits wooden characters. They come across as flesh-and-blood human beings, dedicated to their particular faith and patient in their responses to Jacob's respectful, but sometimes confrontational, line of questioning.

Schade's most remarkable achievement is that the authorities Jacob seeks out and questions, in addition to being extremely knowledgeable and articulate about their beliefs, all come across, with the exception of an extreme fundamentalist here and there, as compassionate, likeable characters Jacob ends up respecting and considering friends after he has grilled them about their beliefs. Indeed, the reader comes away with great respect for the intellectual integrity of even the one atheist Jacob encounters.

This book could only have been written after years of diligent research into the beliefs of the major religions covered (and their offshoots). One could read this book simply as an engaging story, but it is also an excellent summation of what adherents of these faiths believe. Anyone interested in religion will find this book fascinating."

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