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Publishers Weekly Profiles Samir Selmanovic: Teaching About God Through Discomfort

Samir Selmanovic never gave God or religion much thought as a young man. Raised by culturally Muslim and loving parents who were essentially atheists, like many of their friends and neighbors in the Yugoslav city of Zagreb (now the capital of Croatia), Selmanovic didn’t know what he was missing until his mandatory army service. Then he met an ascetic, homeless Christian, whose spirituality so enchanted him that he converted. In his new book, It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian (Jossey-Bass, Sept.), Selmanovic tells his story of struggles for spiritual definition.

His stunned parents nearly disowned him; later, he was disappointed by American Christianity, which he found to be overly individualistic. In times of spiritual crisis, Selmanovic began to not only draw upon his Muslim background but also turned to Judaism for inspiration (hence the inclusive subtitle to his book). Selmanovic credits his steadfast Christianity to other traditions: “I don’t know if I would be a Christian today without other faiths.”

An ordained pastor and founder of the New York City interfaith organization Faith House, Selmanovic refuses to call his work “interfaith.”

Read the rest at Publishers Weekly.

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