The Dignity of Difference


Author:  Jonathan Sacks

Publisher: Continuum

Pages: 216  

Year: 2002

Condition: Used, in very good condition. Hardcover.

ISBN 0-8264-6397-5

The year 2001 began as the United Nations Year of Dialogue between Civilizations. By its end, the phrase most widely quoted was “the clash of civilizations”. The tragedy of 11 September intensified the danger posed by religious differences around the world. As the politics of identity replaces the politics of ideology, can religion overcome its conflict-ridden past and become a force for peace?

The Dignity of Difference is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ radical 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 argue 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. The Dignity of Difference is one of the boldest theological statements by a world religious leader in many years, an attempt to formulate “a counter voice in the conversation of mankind”.

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