Review of “Understanding Covenants and Communities: Jews and Latter-day Saints in Dialogue”

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Organized topically, this book’s sixteen essays provide a wealth of information about Jewish and Latter-day Saint perspectives, scripture, experience, worship, culture, and politics. However, at least for me, the true treasure of these essays is not so much informational as it is relational.

In my experience, interfaith meetings frequently bear an uncanny resemblance to middle-school dances: occasions where two groups very much want to get to know each other but have absolutely no idea how to do so. Consequently, they hang back, occasionally venturing forth to make awkward, momentary contact, only to quickly retreat to the safety of their respective camps afterwards. With this book, Jewish and Latter-day Saint scholars from Loyola Marymount University; Brigham Young University; Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles; and the Academy for Jewish Religion California attempt to remedy this situation not only by offering their readers several “good practices and lessons learned about successful interfaith dialogues” (xiv) but also by demonstrating in essay form what such a dialogue looks like and what it can lead to.