One of the most respected religious thinkers of our time makes an impassioned plea for the return of religion to its true purpose—as a partnership with God in the work of ethical and moral living.
What are our duties to others, to society, and to humanity? How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability? In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility. In his signature plainspoken, accessible style, Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior. “We are here to make a difference,” he writes, “a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion.” He argues that in today’s religious and political climate, it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that “it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world.”
To Heal a Fractured World—inspirational and instructive, timely and timeless—will resonate with people of all faiths.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: To Heal a Fractured World|
|Release Date: 02-06-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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To Heal a Fractured World
The Ethics of Responsibility
One of Judaism's most distinctive and challenging ideas is its ethics of responsibility, the idea that God invites us to become, in the rabbinic phrase, his 'partners in the work of creation'. The God who created the world in love calls on us to create in love. The God who gave us the gift of freedom asks us to use it to honour and enhance the freedom of others. God, the ultimate Other, asks us to reach out to the human other. More than God is a strategic intervener, he is a teacher. More than he does our will, he teaches us how to do his. Life is God's call to responsibility. That is the theme of this book.
More than any previous generation in history, we have come to see the individual as the sole source of meaning. The gossamer filaments of connection between us and others, that once held together families, communities and societies, have become attenuated. We have become lonely selves in search of purely personal fulfilment. But that surely must be wrong. Life alone is only half a life. One spent pursuing the satisfaction of desire is less than satisfying and never all we desire. So it is worth reminding ourselves that there is such a thing as ethics, and it belongs to the life we live together and the goods we share - the goods that only exist in virtue of being shared.
That is one of Judaism's enduring insights. To give an example: in 1190 Moses Maimonides, the greatest rabbi of the Middle Ages, published The Guide for the Perplexed, the most challenging work of Jewish philosophy ever written. In it he addresses the most exalted themes o