Author(s): PALMER MARTIN
A selection of brilliant writers, young and old, have come together to retell some of the world's most culturally defining tales about encounters with strangers, with poignancy, humour and wit. The experience of losing everything, of being thrown out, of being dispossessed, exiled and being forced to rely on the generosity (or not) of others, is a fundamental and recurring theme in many world cultures. Furthermore every major spiritual tradition tells stories of how you are more likely to meet the divine in the outcast, the beggar, or the stranger, than you are in the king, the queen, or indeed the priest. Twenty short stories, sitting alongside raw and powerful illustrations, remind readers of the importance of strangers and what stands to be learned from engaging with them.
Martin Palmer is a storyteller, broadcaster and writer, and heads the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) which he founded with HRH Prince Philip. He is a well-known translator of Chinese Classical texts such as the Dao De Jing and the Shang Shu. He is a religious historian and theologian. Katriana Hazell is a curator and producer based in London. From 1997 to 2009 she was Cultural Director of Asia House, London and prior to this was at the Commonwealth Institute, the National Museums of Scotland and the Scottish Arts Council. Since 2009 she has worked with the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) as a consultant on artistic events including producing Hearing the Voices of Creation a major performance at Windsor Castle in 2011. She was project manager for Stories of the Stranger. ARC (Alliance of Religions and Conservation) is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. They help the religions link with key environmental organisations - creating powerful alliances between faith communities and conservation groups. ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and now work with 11 major faiths through the key traditions within each one.