Not in God's Name
Confronting Religious Violence
By Jonathan Sacks
The former Chief Rabbi -- currently hosting his new series on BBC Radio 4 on morality -- explores the thorny issue of violence committed in the name of God, and how religion, rightly understood, can be part of the solution.
Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.
In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges those who claim that religion is intrinsically a cause of violence, and argues that theology must become part of the solution if it is not to remain at the heart of the problem.
This book is a rebuke to all those who kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practise cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.
For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: Not In God's Name.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, the author of more than twenty-five books, and a moral voice for our time. Described by H.R.H The Prince of Wales as 'a light unto this nation', he is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britian and around the world.
Admired by non-Jews as much as Jews, by secular as well as religious thinkers, and equally at home in the university and the yeshiva, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013. He read Philosophy at Cambridge before pursuing postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford and King's College, London.
- Other details
- Publication date:
19 May 2016
- Page count:
Hodder & Stoughton
The former Chief Rabbi, Lord (Jonathan) Sacks, is one of the most interesting thinkers, writers and speakers about today. His interventions into the public debate rarely fail to encourage thought, knowledge and indeed wisdom.
I suspect that this latest book will contribute a significant amount to the ferocious debates around religion and violence in our world today. There is a huge amount in the new book, including much to find agreement with as well as some things I am sure some readers will want to push back on.
— Douglas Murray, The Spectator
Rabbi Sacks has eloquently set out the theological case for confronting religious violence in his book Not in God's Name. — Standpoint Magazine
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks's Not in God's Name is a masterpiece that should be read by all of us. The book is an essential and brilliant dissertation. — Jewish Chronicle