Author: Jimmy Carter
Review by: Jennie K. Lincoln, Director – Latin America and the Caribbean Program, The Carter Center
Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the U.S. and Nobel Peace Laureate, is well-known for his deep religious faith. This book undertakes an expanded view of the concept of faith and provides a thought-provoking consideration of how people of various faiths may relate to each other for the benefit of mankind.
The book explores a concept deeply entrenched in religion: a belief in a power beyond one’s self. But Carter notes, however, that faith is not just a noun, but a verb. It is not enough to have faith. One must live it, even when that requires personal courage and challenges to one’s own beliefs.
He blends study of religious scholars, philosophers – and yes, experiences with political leaders – to discuss the meanings of faith, living faith, what faith means to him and challenges to faith in today’s complicated contemporary global context. He calls for people to have faith in themselves and in others but expresses concern that today’s two foremost global threats are atmospheric warming and possible nuclear war.
This book provides reflections of a man who lives his faith every day and offers a broad range of examples of how faith (noun and verb) may be guidance for any reader to help make the world a better place.
For me, it is a reminder that global diversity requires both an understanding of differences and a grounded set of core values in justice, equality and peace. It’s an inspiring message to encourage a fundamental respect for others as we work to improve the human condition.