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Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations Paperback – 1 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum; New Ed edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826468500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826468505
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A global religious leader, philosopher, author and moral voice for our time, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He has also been appointed as Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King's College London. Previously, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013, only the sixth incumbent since the role was formalized in 1845.

Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as "a light unto this nation" and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "an intellectual giant", Rabbi Sacks is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. A visiting professor at several universities in Britain, the United States and Israel, Rabbi Sacks holds 16 honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

In recognition of his work, Rabbi Sacks has won several international awards, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. Rabbi Sacks has also recently been named as The Becket Fund's 2014 Canterbury Medallist for his role in the defence of religious liberty in the public square. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.
The author of 25 books, Rabbi Sacks has published commentaries to the daily Jewish prayer book (siddur) and has completed commentaries to the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach festival prayer books (machzorim) to date. His most recent secular book - The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning - was published in July 2011. A number of his books have won literary awards, including the Grawemeyer Prize for Religion in 2004 for The Dignity of Difference, and a National Jewish Book Award in 2000 for A Letter in the Scroll. Covenant & Conversation: Genesis was also awarded a National Jewish Book Award in 2009, and the Koren Sacks Pesach Machzor won the Dorot Foundation National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience for 2013. His Covenant & Conversation commentaries on the weekly Torah portion are read by thousands of people in Jewish communities around the world.

Born in 1948 in London, Rabbi Sacks attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, receiving honors in philosophy. He continued his studies at New College, Oxford, and King's College London, where he earned his doctorate in 1981. The same year he was ordained at Jews' College and at Yeshiva Etz Chaim, both in London. He served as the rabbi for Golders Green synagogue and Marble Arch synagogue in London. Before taking the post of chief rabbi, he also was Principal of Jews' College, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary. In 1970, Rabbi Sacks married his wife, Elaine, and they have three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila and several grandchildren.

Publications:

Tradition in an Untraditional Age (1990)

Persistence of Faith (1991)

Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (1991)

Crisis and Covenant (1992)

One People? (1993)

Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)

Community of Faith (1995)

Faith in the Future (1998)

The Politics of Hope (1997)

Morals and Markets (1999)

Celebrating Life (2000)

Radical Then, Radical Now (2001)

The Dignity of Difference (2002)

The Chief Rabbi's Haggadah (2003)

From Optimism to Hope (2004)

To Heal a Fractured World (2005)

The Authorised Daily Prayer Book: new translation and commentary (2006)

The Home We Build Together (2007)

Future Tense (2009)

Covenant and Conversation; Exodus (2010)

The Koren Sacks Rosh Hashana Mahzor (2011)

The Great Partnership: God Science and the Search for Meaning (2011; 2012)

The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor (2012)

The Koren Sacks Pesach Mahzor (2013)

Product Description

Review

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

From the Back Cover

'Compelling and hopeful...The really astonishing thing about his achievement is that his application of the Hebrew religious genius to the human condition works whether you believe in God or not... As I devoured this book, and it reads easily, I began to think that what the world really needs is a massive conversion to a secular version of Judaism.' The Guardian
'It is a splendid book. In the light of September 11, it is timely, sensible, well written and thoughtful.' THE TIMES
'There is no doubt that The Dignity of Difference is a profound book that forces believers to think and think again.' THE INDEPENDENT
'The Dignity of Difference stands far above other books about globalization and the so-called clash of civilizations, both for what it has to say and for the grace with which it says it... In this, his most prophetic work, Rabbi Sacks has written a guide for the perplexed.' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'He outlines a set of theses aimed at defining nothing less than a basis for religiously sensitive civilization, doing so with all the clarity his writings invariably show.' Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Jewish Chronicle
'The Dignity of Difference is ostensibly an ethical critique of the politics and economics of globalization, but is shot through with a profound sense of history... A big book for all its 200 pages.' Christmas Books, The Times
'...a profound meditation on human diversity and religious differences.' Books of the Year, Independent
'A courageous and challenging attempt to cajole orthodox Judaism into a dialogue with the real world, where nobody has a monopoly on the truth.' Favourite Reads from 2002 The Guardian

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By katy murphy on 14 May 2004
Format: Paperback
In an age of extremism, "The Dignity of Difference" explores the need for the human race to become more tolerant and resprectful to those who are "different" from us. The key message is clear; that it is a mistake to attempt to impose a single way of life in a plural word. Due to increased globalisation, we are more and more aware of others in the world and we cannot help compare and contrast "us" and "them".
The terrifying reality of what happens when civilizations clash was made evident in New York on September 11th. Sacks' book portrays a hope....a hope that the future is not inevitably a future of dispair where groups continue to be locked in an ever-increasing circle of conflict and retaliation. He advocates that this cycle can be broken through systematic programmes of control, contribution, compassion, creativity, co-operation, conservation and conciliation. Each of the major monotheisms (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) hold what they believe is the ultimate exclusive "truth", but Sacks pleads for tolerance and understanding that each group has their own truth which is right for them. One thing that every human being shares is that we are all unique and different from every other person, and this difference should be celebrated with dignity and acceptance.
This book explores important issues that are relevent to everyone and anyone who has a stake in the future of the world. It is written by a Rabbi but it is not a book which spouts religious ideology. Instead it discusses the interactions of human beings with each other and with the world, and the ways in which we all need to be proactive if we are to avoid further clashes of civilization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By barbara harmsworth on 25 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an amazing read. Brilliant. Great food for thought. Can honestly recommend this to anyone. Will make a positive impact to mankind.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TBE on 17 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is without doubt one of the best books I have ever read. And certainly one of the most important one. If only Mr. Sacks'views were shared more widely!
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By Terry S on 16 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great unbelievable amount of lnowledge
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By Mr. J. R. Finch on 7 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting viewpoint by the author
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