Creekside Books & Coffee Presents:

Gustav Niebuhr author

Beyond Tolerance Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America

Saturday October 4, 2008 at 1 PM


[Skaneateles, NY]  Creekside Books & Coffee, an independent bookstore and coffeehouse in Skaneateles, welcomes Gustav Niebuhr author of Beyond Tolerance Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America


“After reading Beyond Tolerance you will feel as honored as I do to welcome Gustav Niebuhr to Creekside.  He wraps up a six city tour before stopping in Skaneateles,” says Erika Davis, owner of Creekside Books and Coffee. “His thoughts are provoking and insightful, and I am certain his discussion will leave his audience changed and charged with an energized outlook on tomorrow.”

From the SU website “Using reporting skills he honed during his 20-year career as a journalist, Niebuhr takes readers on a cross-country journey to meet groups who are building bridges to better religious understanding.”


Gustav Niebuhr—grandson of renowned religious thinker Reinhold Niebuhr, and grandnephew of renowned ethicist Helmut Reinhold Niebuhr—a former New York Times Religion reporter takes the reader on a hopeful journey through America’s religious heartland, shining a light on the multitude of congregations that are reaching across theological boundaries not with tolerance, but with respect.


Over a 20-year career in journalism, most recently at the New York Times and, prior to that, at the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Gustav Niebuhr has established a reputation as a leading writer about American religion. His work has been published in books, magazines and on the internet; he also does occasional commentaries on religion for the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered.” He has just finished working on a book about religious pluralism and interfaith relations in America titled:



Beyond Tolerance Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America

Beyond Tolerance is a hopeful, timely and important portrait of religious cooperation in America. Niebuhr discovers the inheritors of this tradition and explores heartening examples of cooperation between religious communities that go beyond tolerance. From Hindus and Quakers in Queens, New York to Catholics and Jews in Baltimore, Maryland, to black Baptists and Catholics in Louisville, Kentucky to Catholics and Buddhists in Los Angeles, he focuses on the different approaches.


On September 11, we cannot help but think about the power of religion to shape our world. In the past few years, religion has had a revival in America. It has been catapulted to the front pages of our newspapers, splashed on our television screens and most recently, at the forefront of the presidential campaigns. Religion’s rise to the surface does not need to be a negative, divisive matter. Historically, the U.S. has always had a degree of pluralism, a quality that has helped Americans, as a whole, work through their religious differences. Former New York Times religion reporter Gustav Niebuhr’s new book, Beyond Tolerance, is a testament to everyday efforts put forth by those often left out of headlines.


PRAISE FOR Beyond Tolerance

Starred Review. Niebuhr, the former religion reporter for the New York Times, is now a professor at Syracuse University. This makes his book immensely valuable: he has the careful scholarship of an academic, but the communication expertise of a journalist skilled at getting to the personal heart of a story. Not long after 9/11, Niebuhr set out to find and tell the largely untold stories of those who are involved in interreligious dialogue: why do they do it? what do they gain from it? what do they risk? True dialogue, as the title claims, means moving beyond tolerance, approaching other religious traditions with a desire to learn and, perhaps more important, to make friends. Niebuhr tells memorable stories of people reaching across religious lines, from a group of Cape Cod Congregationalists who gave a Jewish community a historic building, some land and some money to create a synagogue to the energetic individuals who founded Louisville’s famous Festival of Faiths. Niebuhr beautifully honors the commitment and care shown by those working on the front lines of interreligious understanding. (Aug. 4)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Publishers Weekly



“Gustav Niebuhr’s remarkable and absorbing Beyond Tolerance comes at a time when religious fanaticism, with its perversion and violence, has emerged as a threat to civilization. Anyone involved or at least interested in dialogue among individuals, communities, and nations, will benefit from its wisdom and humanity.” —Elie Wiesel




Beyond Tolerance is the subject of a six-city promotional tour, during which Niebuhr will lecture, as well as sign copies of his book: Chautauqua Institute (Chautauqua, N.Y.), Aug. 6; Newton Free Library (Newton, Mass.), Aug. 12; All Saint’s Episcopal Church, co-sponsored by Vroman’s Bookstore (Los Angeles), Aug. 14; Grace Cathedral Church, co-hosted by Books Inc. (San Francisco), Aug. 15; Union Theological Seminary (New York City), Sept. 10; and Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Sept. 11.



Creekside Books & Coffee is located at 35 Fennell Street in Skaneateles.  The bookstore is the only retail store in the village selling new hardcover and paperback books as well as toys, gifts, greeting cards and other merchandise. The coffeehouse features the freshest roasted coffee in town, a light fare menu and a pleasant atmosphere to relax and enjoy.