The Dignity of Difference

The Dignity of Difference : How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations

4.18 (356 ratings by Goodreads)
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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 18mm | 240g
  • Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0826468500
  • 9780826468505
  • 64,159

Table of contents

Introduction; Prologue; Globalisation and its Discontents; The Dignity of Difference: Exorcising Plato's Ghost; Control: the Imperative of Responsibility; Conscience: the Moral Dimension of Economic Systems; Compassion: the Idea of Tzedakah; Creativity: the Imperative of Education; Co-operation: the Institutions of Civil Society; Conservation: a Sense of Limits; Conciliation: the Power of a Word to Change the World; A Covenant of Hope.
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Review quote

"Aims to define nothing less than a basis for religiously sensitive civilization." Mentioned in The Observer--Oliver Marre "Observer " "Unlike most other religious leaders, Mr Sacks has a wonderfully unbigoted attitude; he thinks and writes with great eloquence supported by an amazingly broad range of sources and reading." - Journey Mentioned in The Observer--, "Observer " "Americans will be taken with his incisive and clear writing style...he provides some much-needed spiritual uplift in this post-9/11 world, and his work is accessible to informed lay readers." Library Journal 'The Dignity of Difference has a central and compelling vision: the magnificence and inspiring human diversity of our world The Chief Rabbi has made a convincing case for respecting people of different faiths and creeds.' Jewish Chronicle 'The book "has a bold and important thesis" said Lord Habgood, especially in how it addresses relations between different faiths' Church Times "Once in a rare while a book comes along that is so powerful and so earth-shattering that we want to get atop the highest mountain and shout out its praises...WE MUST ALL READ THIS BOOK....the most profound and deeply moving argument in favor of religious humanism I can think of." David Shasha, Center for Sephardic Heritage "It is a profoud meditation on human diversity and religious differences....It is a timely book for both believers and non-believers alike that has a profound sense of history running through it." Limited Edition, April 2003 "Sacks does not offer much help in determining how religious people are to grapple with such theological questions. His brilliant service is in showing us that we must." Paul F. Knitter, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, July 2003 "It is odd that a leading orthodox Rabbi should be at the forefront of a campaign to use religious difference as the catalyst for world peace ... in a brave polemic which is bolstered by feverish intelligence." -The Herald (Glasgow)--Sanford Lakoff "wonderful book...bold and controversial" -Commonweal --Sanford Lakoff "Commonweal " Mentioned in The Observer--Sanford Lakoff "Observer " "This book is far more interesting for its discussion of faith and philosophy than for its determination of concrete politics. Perhaps this is the task of rabbis, to explain and guide rather than to rule and legislate. Jonathan Sacks writes well; every sentence counts, but the space behind the grandiloquence always leaves room for interpretation. It is this ambiguity which wins him as may admirers as detractors."
The Jerusalem Post, 6/9/02. Aims to define nothing less than a basis for religiously sensitive civilisation.
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, The Jewish Chronicle A brave plea for universal values. David Goldberg, The Guardian
The Dignity of Difference stands far above the many other books about globalisation, both for what is has to say and for the grace with which it says it. In this most prophetic work, Rabbi Sacks has written a guide for the perplexed of our time.
Daniel Johnson, Daily Telegraph
The Dignity of Difference is a profound book that forces believers to think.
Ziauddin Sardar, The Independent
It is a splendid book. In the light of September 11, it is timely, sensible, well-written and thoughtful. Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The London Times
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About Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks is the author of a number of books including The Politics of Hope and Radical Then, Radical Now.
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Rating details

356 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 45% (160)
4 34% (120)
3 17% (62)
2 3% (10)
1 1% (4)
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