Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations

One supposes the title of this lecture is play on the phrase “A Clash of Civilizations” coined by Samuel P. Huntington, who regarded conflict at the borders between civilizations as predictable and for the most part inevitable.

Recorded in 2007 at Duke University, the Kenan Distinguished Lecture in EthicsThe Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations” by Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, offers a thoughtful, deep, and useful exegesis on the theme of brotherhood found in stories that span the Book of Genesis.  No surprise, I suppose, that Sir Sacks has attracted the ire of the fundamentalists of his own tradition for daring to discern useful lessions for today from a book regarded by many as a text that is not to be interpreted but simply obeyed.

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