Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the [British] Commonwealth) presents a proposal for reframing the terms of this important debate. The first major statement by a Jewish leader on the ethics of globalization, it introduces a new paradigm into the search for co-existence. Sacks argues that we must do more than search for common human values. We must also learn to make space for difference, even and especially at the heart of the monotheistic imagination. The global future will call for something stronger than earlier doctrines of toleration or pluralism. It needs a new understanding that the unity of the Creator is expressed in the diversity of creation.;Sacks argues that this new thinking also sheds fresh light on the global challenges of an age of unprecedented change: economic inequality, environmental destruction, the connection between information technology and human dignity, and the structures of civil society.
Sacks argues for a monotheistically-based respect for difference based not on relativism but in the Orthodox Judaic concept of the covenant. The problems of global capitalism and Huntington's "war between the civilizations" are, to a large extent, due to the mistaken Platonic idea of progress from the particular to the universal. This idea rules not only economic and political affairs, but in religious terms as well, insisting on the worship of one god and one path to salvation. Instead, Sacks suggests, a Judaic case can be made for unity being worshiped in diversity. He examines how this concept can be applied in cultural, political, religious, economic, educational, and environmental spheres of life. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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