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A nationally renowned author, activist, speaker and peace advocate, Dr. David Carlson seeks to create solidarity and bonds of peace among peoples of faith and others in an ongoing campaign to work together to advocate for world peace. Through his frequent speaking engagements and prolific writings-both in book and article formats, Dr. Carlson continues to forge a spiritual friendship movement that transcends religious boundaries to witness for peace while offering a meaningful response to religious violence. Dr. Carlson's message of reconciliation and understanding through interfaith dialogue speaks to the scores of people who desire to know followers of other religions in their quest to live in a more peaceful world.

Based on the universal belief that the neighbor has sacred value, Dr. Carlson harnesses the power of the spiritual friendship movement between Muslims and Christians to quell suspicion and hostility and instead encourage people of diverse walks of life to come together with humility and grace.

"The future of religion in the world will either be to build walls of separation and suspicion or to build bridges of understanding and encouragement. I have found a hunger on the part of peoples of faith to come to know one another and to encourage one another, which is another way of saying that many people are looking for bridges."
~~David Carlson


Against the backdrop of violent extremism, most notably perpetrated by ISIS/ISIL and other more recent terrorist groups,
Dr. Carlson writes and speaks on the topic of collectively grieving whenever our American Muslim neighbors are treated with suspicion and even hatred, especially in the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11 and more recent terrorist incidents. In his eloquent prayer offerings and thoughtful radio and TV interviews and podcasts, Dr. Carlson urges all of us to take a stance against anti-Muslim sentiment and hate-filled acts -- including the recent spate of mass shooting incidents -- in our country. Instead he suggests we respond to the divine in others so we can build bonds of trust and mutual respect among peoples of different faiths and belief systems.

As exemplified in his 2011 book, Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World, Dr. Carlson advocates for discovering a new yet ancient basis for genuine peace between Christianity and other religions - especially Islam. "It is time for Christians to use their power to change the conversation and to ponder Jesus' command to treat the stranger as our neighbor and to treat our neighbor not only as ourselves, but as God in our midst," Dr. Carlson writes in his trailblazing book.

An author and retired religious studies professor at Franklin College - an Indiana liberal arts college, Dr. Carlson continues to underscore this same theme of interfaith dialogue and religious comity in his recently released nonfiction book, Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships, which was published in April 2017.

We invite you to explore this website further to see for yourself how Dr. Carlson continues to change hearts and minds in his quest to witness publicly whenever religion is abused for violent purposes.

New Book Release! => "In the Clutches of the Wicked"
(June 2020)


RETURNING TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

Nothing is more gratifying to a mystery writer than to hear readers say, "I really liked your characters, but I wish I knew what happened to them after the story ended. Would you ever consider writing another mystery with the same characters?"

When I heard this from readers of Enter by the Narrow Gate: A Christopher Worthy/Father Fortis Mystery (Coffeetown Press, 2016), my first response was to assure them that Christopher Worthy and Father Fortis would be in every mystery of the series.

Some readers weren't satisfied with that. "No, I want to know what happened to Lieutenant Sera Lacey, the monks at the New Mexican monastery, and some of the other characters in the mystery," they explained. To that, my instinct was to respond, "I think it's better if I leave that to your imagination."

To my surprise, when I finished the third mystery in the Christopher Worthy and Father Fortis series (Let These Bones Live Again, Coffeetown Press, 2018), I found that my mind had changed. I too wanted to set another mystery in New Mexico with many of the same characters who were in the first mystery.

One factor influencing my decision was my love of New Mexico-I love going there in person when I can and through my imagination when I can't. Visually, New Mexico richly deserves the motto "The Land of Enchantment." For good reason, the light, the different climes (river valley, desert, high desert, pine and pinon forests, and snowy mountain peaks), and the stunning and varied rock formations have inspired artists from prehistoric times to the present.

A second factor that drew me back to New Mexico relates to the spirituality component in my mysteries. New Mexico is a perfect match for this undercurrent, as visitors interested in spirituality find New Mexico endlessly fascinating. There are the beliefs and practices of the Native Puebloan peoples with their deep connections to the holiness of nature. In addition, there is the strong presence of Hispanic Catholicism, a faith brought originally by the conquistadors and flourishing to the present day. Islam, Judaism, Protestant and Orthodox Christianity, and New Age religions have all found New Mexico a welcoming home.

The third factor encouraging me to return to New Mexico was one of the questions readers of the first mystery had asked. The more I thought about their question, the more I realized it was both a good question and one I couldn't answer. Here is what they said: "I thought while reading Enter by the Narrow Gate that Sera Lacey and Christopher Worthy might have a romantic relationship. I know this doesn't happen in your mystery, but did you mean your readers to wonder if the two of them could someday get together?" The more I pondered this question from readers, the more I realized I wanted an answer to it as well.

In the end, then, readers convinced me to bring Christopher Worthy and Father Fortis back to New Mexico to assist Lieutenant Sera Lacey in a case that affects her own family. But this time, my writing process was different. In writing Enter by the Narrow Gate, I knew the basic ending of the mystery all along. In writing In the Clutches of the Wicked (Coffeetown Press, 2019), I knew only two things: the characters and the New Mexican setting. In other words, I didn't know how the mystery would unfold. I didn't know if there would be a romance between Christopher Worthy and Sera Lacey, and I certainly didn't know how the mystery would end.

My process was simply to trust my characters and the power of the imagination. I also learned to trust the instincts of my readers.

I hope readers of In the Clutches of the Wicked enjoy returning to New Mexico as much as I did.

Read REVIEWS of this Book at the BOOKS Page


Copyright © 2016-2020. David C. Carlson. All rights reserved.



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