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

How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks presents a proposal for reframing the terms of this important debate. The first major statement by a Jewish leader on the ethics of globalization, it introduces a new paradigm into the search for co-existence. Sacks argues that we must do more than search for common human values. We must also learn to make space for difference, even and especially at the heart of the monotheistic imagination. The global future will call for something stronger than earlier doctrines of toleration or pluralism. It needs a new understanding that the unity of the Creator is expressed in the diversity of creation.

Sacks argues that this new thinking also sheds fresh light on the global challenges of an age of unprecedented change: economic inequality, environmental destruction, the connection between information technology and human dignity, and the structures of civil society.

** Praise for The Dignity of Difference **

‘Compelling and hopeful…The really astonishing thing about his achievement is that his application of the Hebrew religious genius to the human condition works whether you believe in God or not… As I devoured this book, and it reads easily, I began to think that what the world really needs is a massive conversion to a secular version of Judaism.’

~ The Guardian


‘It is a splendid book. In the light of September 11, it is timely, sensible, well written and thoughtful.’

~ The Times


‘There is no doubt that The Dignity of Difference is a profound book that forces believers to think and think again.’

~ The Independent


‘The Dignity of Difference stands far above other books about globalization and the so-called clash of civilizations, both for what it has to say and for the grace with which it says it… In this, his most prophetic work, Rabbi Sacks has written a guide for the perplexed.’

~ The Daily Telegraph


‘He outlines a set of theses aimed at defining nothing less than a basis for religiously sensitive civilization, doing so with all the clarity his writings invariably show.’

~ Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Jewish Chronicle


‘The Dignity of Difference is ostensibly an ethical critique of the politics and economics of globalization, but is shot through with a profound sense of history… A big book for all its 200 pages.’

~ Christmas Books, The Times


‘…a profound meditation on human diversity and religious differences.’

~ Books of the Year, The Independent


‘A courageous and challenging attempt to cajole orthodox Judaism into a dialogue with the real world, where nobody has a monopoly on the truth.’

~ Favourite Reads from 2002, The Guardian