Hickory – Who was the Biblical Abraham, and how he is perceived by Jews, Christians, and Muslims today? Can he serve as a unifying figure for his feuding descendants? These are the questions Bruce Feiler addresses in his post-9/11 book, “Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths,” according to Joseph Weisberg in a review for the Jewish Book Council. “Part biography, part travelogue, and part biblical exegesis,” Weisberg calls the book an “irresistible page-turner.”

The book will be the focus of a four-part study of Abrahamic faiths in Hickory during February and March. The study sessions will be led by local Jewish, Christian, and Islamic leaders in the area and is hosted by the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council.

On February 11, the first session will be held at Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory, with Rabbi Dennis Jones as the presenter.

On February 18, Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson will present a session at Corinth Reformed, UCC in Hickory, and on February 25 Northminster Presbyterian Church in Hickory will host a session presented by Imam T. A. Mutakabbir.

The final session on March 4 will be hosted at the Belk Centrum at Lenoir-Rhyne University presented by Dr. Mindy Makant. Each of the sessions is on a Sunday, will begin at 2:30 pm and conclude by 4pm, including time for questions and discussion.

Published by Bruce Feiler in 2005, the book tells the powerful story of one man’s search for the shared ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Traveling through war zones, braving violence at religious sites, and seeking out faith leaders, Feiler uncovers the defining yet divisive role that Abraham plays for half the world’s believers. While it is not necessary to read the book to participate, CVIC recommends that participants read the book in advance of the sessions to get the most out of the discussion.

CVIC is a local not-for-profit organization of faith-based and secular communities in the Catawba Valley serving as a catalyst for hope and cooperating for the purpose of dialogue, information sharing, and celebration.

Representatives of the group will be available at each event to accept membership applications from individuals or civic groups who are interested in participating in interfaith dialogue and cooperation in the Catawba Valley.