Study Guide

Three Cups of Tea Religion

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Religion

Bad Religion isn't just a punk rock band—some Christians think of Islam as a bad religion, and some Muslims think the same of Christianity. The amount of hatred between these two groups is ironic, seeing how similar the basic tenets of both faiths are. But all faiths—Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianism—end up branching out and dividing, with some people choosing to worship in different ways than others.

In Three Cups of Tea, although Greg Mortenson is mostly focused on building schools for the children of Pakistan to promote peace, he has a secondary mission: Promoting peace through understanding. Good people are good people, no matter what their religion is, and it's important to see past these differences and work together toward peace.

Questions About Religion

  1. How do religious differences add to the challenges Mortenson faces in building his schools? How do they help?
  2. Does Mortenson try to change Americans' minds about Islam? How? Did you learn anything about Islam from this book?
  3. How is teaching fundamental Islam in the Wahhabi madrassas contributing to terrorism in Pakistan?

Chew on This

Although Mortenson is initially ignorant to Islam, he is not angry at it or afraid of it—instead he learns about the religion by asking questions and participating in its rituals.

Both Christianity and Islam are shown to have the same core tenets—think: compassion, respect, charity, and the like. You only need to run the other way when you see words like "radical" or "fundamental" tacked on to each one.

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