Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discusses his new book, Not In God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence, a timely rumination upon religious conflict in the world today. The standard conception of episodes of religious violence, namely, that extremist faith leads to fanatical aggression, is mistaken, he argues. The horrors we have witnessed have other sources, mainly sibling rivalry (broadly conceived), which, though often expressed through religious differences, can be reconciled through religious instruction. For Rabbi Sacks, our clearest way out of conflict is through the lessons of the Book of Genesis, particularly in the stories of sibling tension. Religious fervor is not going to disappear—that's a secularist fantasy, he says. On the contrary, the 21st century shall witness a 'de-secularization of society,' and instead of regarding the decline of religious faith as the answer to violence, we should return to the sources of faith for solutions. Please join us for this powerful discussion.
Access to this First Things content is free, but we encourage you to support our event and media work with a contribution of any amount by clicking on the donation button below.