A firsthand look at the volatile situation in Baghdad from the pastor of the last Episcopal church in Iraq! Leader of a parish that's a refuge for all Christians in the embattled city, White offers a practical, God-centered peace plan to alleviate suffering and plant seeds of hope in people of faith throughout the Middle East.
As the vicar of St. George's Church in Baghdad, the only Episcopalian church in Iraq, Canon Andrew White has worked with those at the highest levels of authority in Iraq, for both Westerners and Iraqis. Now, as political and military solutions continue to fail, Andrew offers a different approach to making peace in the Middle East-speaking as a man of faith to men of faith. In The Vicar of Baghdad he tells the story of his work to create peace through God.
As head of a foundation for relief and peacemaking and vicar of an Anglican church in Baghdad, White has gained the ear of major power brokers, negotiated hostage releases and coordinated interreligious dialogue in the Middle East. Yet his memoir does not fit neatly into the canon of peacemaking literature, in part because he sees no problem with aligning closely with the U.S. military and accepting Pentagon funds for his interfaith peace summits. Peacemaking of the old woolly-liberal kind no longer works, if it ever did, he writes, and criticizes bottom-up approaches to reconciliation as ineffective in the Middle East. White's most controversial claimthat Iraq had weapons of mass destructiongoes unsupported, and some will find his support for the U.S. invasion ironic, inasmuch as it exists alongside interreligious statements that he helped to broker proclaiming a total rejection of all violence. White's stories of finding common ground between enemies and his commitment to finding out how religion can advise, rather than supervise, politics are truly admirable, however, and not lost entirely amid the book's other, more self-serving assertions. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.