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The Mingling of the Oceans

A Theory of How Civilizations Can Live Together

By Akbar Ahmed; With Frankie Martin and Amineh Ahmed Hoti

Adopting lessons from around the world for how people can live a good life and get along with each other

The Mingling of the Oceans offers a positive way for people to deal with each other and crises such as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and racial, ethnic, religious strife. Investigating the question of how to understand life itself and relate to other peoples and religions, the book draws on the deep and rich religious and philosophical traditions of both East and West. It introduces these diverse wells of wisdom and traditions while asking how we can best live as human societies, build bridges with those not like us, and help us personally in trying times.

By highlighting the most helpful aspects of traditions from around the world, the book charts a course toward allowing various peoples to “comingle.” Perhaps there are few more valuable exercises than reminding us of our common humanity and the hope that it represents in this time of the pandemic, which has posed an existential threat to the human race. Despite the illness and misery anyone might experience, the definition of humanity is optimism—to be human also means having hope.

The Mingling of the Oceans is a logical progression from and culmination of Ahmed’s previous quartet of Brookings studies examining relations between the West and Muslim world, which involved extensive fieldwork across the world over more than a decade. Students, academics, policymakers, journalists, religious people, religious leaders—in short, anyone interested in ideas—will find the messages in this book relevant, personally helpful, and timely.

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