Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence

Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence

by Jonathan Sacks


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In this powerful and timely book, one of the most admired and authoritative religious leaders of our time tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. If religion is perceived as being part of the problem, Rabbi Sacks argues, then it must also form part of the solution. When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit—i.e., my religion is the only right path to God, therefore your religion is by definition wrong—and when individuals are motivated by what Rabbi Sacks calls “altruistic evil,” violence between peoples of different beliefs appears to be the inevitable outcome. But through an exploration of the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, and employing groundbreaking biblical analysis and interpretation, Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths. By looking anew at the book of Genesis, with its foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Rabbi Sacks offers a radical rereading of many of the Bible’s seminal stories of sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Rachel and Leah.
Here is an eloquent call for people of goodwill from all faiths and none to stand together, confront the religious extremism that threatens to destroy us all, and declare: Not in God’s Name.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805212686
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 156,297
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

RABBI LORD JONATHAN SACKS is the award-winning author of more than thirty books. He is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television, and the press around the world and teaches at universities in Britain, the United States, and Israel. Rabbi Sacks holds sixteen honorary degrees and has received many awards in recognition of his work, including the Jerusalem Prize and, in 2016, the Templeton Prize. He served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013.

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When religion turns men into murderers, God weeps.

Excerpted from "Not in God's Name"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Jonathan Sacks.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements                                                             ix

I:   Bad Faith
   1.   Altruistic Evil                                                                        3
   2.   Violence and Identity                                                         27
   3.   Dualism                                                                               44
   4.   The Scapegoat                                                                     66
   5.   Sibling Rivalry                                                                    87

II:   Siblings
   6.   The Half-Brothers                                                             107
   7.   Wrestling with the Angel                                                  125
   8.   Role Reversal                                                                    144
   9.   The Rejection of Rejection                                               161

III:  The Open Heart
   10.   The Stranger                                                                      177
   11.   The Universality of Justice, the Particularity of Love      189
   12.   Hard Texts                                                                        207
   13.   Relinquishing Power                                                         220
   14.   Letting Go of Hate                                                           238
   15.   The Will to Power or the Will to Life                               252

Notes                                                                                         269
Bibliography                                                                             289

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Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DKO1946 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I was initially surprised at the extensive analysis of stories from the Hebrew Bible. But it all came together with the author's sensitivity and compassion. Well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. Just amazing. This book is absolutely worth reading. Rabbi Sacks is a model of what a religious leader should be... a seeker of truth rather than a purveyor of dogma. It is very insightful, original, and useful biblical commentary. This alone is worth the price of the book. This is probably the best book I read since Author R.A. Clark's book, When God Stopped Keeping Score, which takes a surprisingly moving look at the power of God and forgiveness.