April 20, 2014

Has Europe Lost Its Soul?

cheif-rabbi-sacks

"The religious roots of the market economy and of democratic capitalism...were produced by a culture saturated in the values of the Judaeo-Christian heritage, and market economics was originally intended to advance those values." "When Europe recovers its soul, it will recover its wealth-creating energies. But first it must remember: humanity was not created to serve markets. Markets were created to serve humankind." Source: Office of the Chief Rabbi |Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks Delivered at The Pontifical Gregorian University on 12th December 2011. As the political leaders of Europe come together to try to save the euro, and with it the very project of European Union, I believe the time has come for religious leaders to do likewise, and I want to explain why. What I hope to show in this lecture, is first, the religious roots of the market economy and of democratic capitalism. They were produced by a culture saturated in the values of the Judaeo-Christian heritage, and … [Read more...]

The Limits of Secularism

cheif-rabbi-sacks

An outsanding analysis by the Chief Rabbi of England Lord Sacks. Some highlights: In 1997...I argued that the world had moved on since (Isaiah) Berlin's great 1957 lecture "Two Concepts of Liberty" (.pdf), and that the threat to liberty was now different: not totalitarianism but rather the internal moral decay of free societies. So there it is: the evidence that intellectuals have systematically misunderstood the nature of religion and religious observance and have constantly been thinking, for the better part of three centuries, that religion was about to disappear, yet it hasn't. In certain parts of the world it is growing. The 21st century is likely to be a more religious century than the 20th. It is interesting that religion is particularly growing in places like China where the economy is growing. We must ask ourselves why this is, because it is actually very odd indeed. Think about it: every function that was once performed by religion can now be done by something else. … [Read more...]