The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning

. 2012. 384p. 978-0-80524-301-7. 28.95.
Sacks (chief rabbi, United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain & the Commonwealth), a leading voice in contemporary Judaism and public policy, here presents a broad-minded approach to problems of religion in public life, offering profound answers that speak to all faith traditions. Chapters address such matters as the problem of evil, faith as a source of social cohesion, and the relationship between religion and science. The author finds that much of the tension between religion and science involves conflict between left-brain analytic thinking and right-brain integrative thinking, expressed, respectively, through Greek and Hebraic intellectual traditions and lauds the “wondrous achievement” of its synthesis in Western civilization. Sacks’s call for a “partnership [of the secular and religious] in the work of redemption” supports his viewpoint that in faith readers can find a source of meaning and human dignity.
VERDICT Sacks’s accessible narrative style and his ease in discussing science, philosophy, and the Jewish tradition ensure the book’s importance to readers concerned with contemporary debate involving science, atheism, religion, and politics. Specialists may find the lack of an index an impediment to serious use of the book.

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