Collette Hassan Evening: Defining a Moral Compass for the 21st Century?

Jonathan Sacks, Susan Neiman

01/03/2010 11:30 am
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Jonathan Sacks and Susan Neiman outlined their visions for addressing the ethical challenges, both religious and secular, confronting us in the 21st century.

In Moral Clarity : A Guide for Grown-up Idealists, Susan Neiman reclaims the secular moral values of the enlightenment as the mature route to social justice, free from the ideologies and orthodoxies that attract so many.

In his latest book, Future Tense, Jonathan Sacks claims that religion and morality are inextricable – religion representing the best of what it means to be human.

Is Susan Neiman too idealistic about the possibility of attaining a transcendent morality, independent of religion? Does Jonathan Sacks exaggerate the role religion plays in moral conduct?

This was a discussion that was both exciting and contentious.

Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader and philosopher, sits in the House of Lords, and is the author of 25 books and the recipient of many international prizes. He is currently Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He is also Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King’s College London. He served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013.

Susan Neiman

Susan Neiman is an American moral philosopher who has taught at Yale and Tel Aviv University. She currently lives in Germany, where she is the Director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam. Her previous books include Moral Clarity; Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin and Evil in Modern Thought.

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