In this book, former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence particularly looking at tensions in history up to the present day between the three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Sacks takes a good look at the world we live in and assesses to what degree religion contributes to present conflicts. He provides a Jewish perspective on historical anti-Semitism revealing its sources. The whole book explores the idea of sibling rivalry and Sacks uses the text of Genesis to look into sibling rivalry over the generations of the Patriarchs, first Cain and Abel, then Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, moving on to Rachel and Leah and finally Joseph and his brothers. Jonathan Sacks’ insights into these relationships are deep and insightful and I found his argument for a subplot continually being revealed underneath the up-front stories very convincing. This is a rich and rewarding read. The final chapter is a call for Jews, Christians and Moslems to recognize our common humanity, let go of hate and live together as brothers and sisters by honouring one another as people made in his image.
For more detail about the relationship tensions in Genesis and helpful teaching about the minor characters get Jonathan Sacks “Covenant and Conversation: Genesis.”
I bought “Not in God’s Name” for £3.49 on Amazon. Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 2015.