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In this groundbreaking work of biblical analysis and interpretation, one of the most admired religious leaders of our time shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of the texts of the Bible that have influenced all three of the Abrahamic faiths.
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”--violence between peoples of different beliefs is the only natural outcome, argues Rabbi Sacks. But by looking anew at seminal biblical texts in the Book of Genesis--in which we find the foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--Rabbi Sacks offers an entirely different understanding of God's multiple relationships: with Jacob, patriarch of Judaism; with Ishmael, patriarch of Islam; and with Esau, whose blessing is understood to confirm God's relationship with monotheists from other faiths and overarching relationship with all of humanity. By analyzing the texts that recount how Abraham's immediate descendants resolved their various sibling rivalries, Rabbi Sacks teaches us a powerful lesson in the existence of multiple pathways to God.
Rabbi Sacks’s bold statement of our need to look with new eyes at specific scriptural passages--passages that, when interpreted literally, can lead to hatred, violence, and war--is an eloquent, clarion call for people of goodwill from all faiths to join together to end the misunderstandings that threaten to destroy us all.
by Jonathan Sacks
Publisher: Schocken Books