SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times

Basic. Sept. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781541675315. $30. REL
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How might a renowned religious leader and philosopher address the contemporary crises facing America? Sacks (Not in God’s Name) first examines the historical background that has led to a lack of shared morality, values, and virtues. He associates these factors as being largely responsible for problems such as the overemphasis on individualism, the increased divisiveness both in political and in cultural realms, the breakdown in public discourse, and the loss of a shared commitment to the common good. Sacks views the current cultural landscape as developing from philosophical, political, and social changes, as well as a shift away from Judeo-Christian values. His book is a call for a renewed sense of trust and civility, both in society and in individuals. He sees the way forward as being through the development of a covenantal approach in political, economic, and cultural areas, in which the focus is on “we” and not on “I.” While Sacks does not discuss effective ways to bring about this transition to covenant theology, he offers steps readers can take to begin engaging in altruism.
VERDICT This major work in moral philosophy and theology should engage all readers, but particularly scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students.

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