***National Jewish Book Awards 2012, Finalist*** Dorot Foundation Award forModern Jewish Thought and Experience
An impassioned, erudite, thoroughly researched, and beautifully reasoned book from one of the most admired religious thinkers of our time that argues not only that science and religion are compatible, but that they complement each other—and that the world needs both.
“Atheism deserves better than the new atheists,” states Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “whose methodology consists of criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity. Religion has done harm; I acknowledge that. But the cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science.”
Rabbi Sacks’s counterargument is that religion and science are the two essential perspectives that allow us to see the universe in its three-dimensional depth. Science teaches us where we come from. Religion explains to us why we are here. Science is the search for explanation. Religion is the search for meaning. We need scientific explanation to understand nature. We need meaning to understand human behavior. There have been times when religion tried to dominate science. And there have been times, including our own, when it is believed that we can learn all we need to know about meaning and relationships through biochemistry, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. In this fascinating look at the interdependence of religion and science, Rabbi Sacks explains why both views are tragically wrong.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote a thoughtful book that does not provide "all the answers," but the book is one to make readers think. As an aside, the books that "provide all the answers" are not worth reading or considering. While Rabbi Sacks is obviously Jewish, his book is not exclusively "Jewish," and he shared philosophical and non-Jewish insights re where science and religion merge into seriously thinking.
Those who are superficially religions will despair about scientific achievement.. Those imbued about science can blunder if they miss a sense of good vs. evil or right vs. wrong. A limited religious view can lead to fanaticism and cruelty. As Sacks noticed the worst atrocities in history were committed during the 20th. century via the Soviets and their followers The latter had no sense of good vs. evil. Sacks noticed that these political ideologues had only one concept and that was power at any price. Sacks also wrote that dissenters should be...
This is one of the finest discussions for those of us who do not believe that science and religion need to be at odds. His integration of current scientific understanding and religious thinking is a breath of fresh air after the spate of new atheists writings and radical right rhetoric.
The Great Partnership by Rabbi Sachs is a remarkable, scholarly, well written, page turner that will keep thinkers and seekers enthralled. The scope of his scholarship is amazing. I was bookmaking and making notes almost every page. He does justice to every view he presents.
By way of full disclosure I am a retired married Catholic priest / psychologist, active in promoting interfaith understanding for four decades. I still lead workshops integrating psychology and spirituality, and blogs regularly on wellness, braid research and faith. For integrative studies, holistic thinker and those who are concerned about cultural values, this book is a treasure.
Anyone interested in interfaith dialogue will find this book full of insights and quotable statements. Those seeking to deepen the understanding of their own faith tradition will find this book transforming. Scientists, skeptics and agnostics will find this book helps understand the cultural value of the...
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