Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey

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Jewish Lights Publishing, 2010 - Religion - 131 pages

A Profound and Stirring Call to Action in Our Troubled World--from One of America's Great Religious Leaders

"Conscience may be understood as the hidden inner compass that guides our lives and must be searched for and recovered repeatedly. At no time more than our own is this need to retrieve the shards of broken conscience more urgent."
--from the Introduction

This clarion call to rethink our moral and political behavior examines the idea of conscience and the role conscience plays in our relationships to government, law, ethics, religion, human nature and God--and to each other. From Abraham to Abu Ghraib, from the dissenting prophets to Darfur, Rabbi Harold Schulweis probes history, the Bible and the works of contemporary thinkers for ideas about both critical disobedience and uncritical obedience. He illuminates the potential for evil and the potential for good that rests within us as individuals and as a society.

By questioning religion's capacity--and will--to break from mindless conformity, Rabbi Schulweis challenges us to counter our current suppressive culture of obedience with the culture of moral compassion, and to fulfill religion's obligation to make room for and carry out courageous moral dissent.

 

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Very engaging read with realistic characters, who display a wide range of emotions. If you are like me, in that you appreciate the theory that good and right win, you will enjoy this one. Read full review

Contents

Conscience Confronts God
7
Human Conscience and Divine Legislation
23
Against Conscience
59
Witness to Goodness
71
The Conscience of an AntiSemite
91
Cultivating Conscience
101
The Bridge across the Rivers of EitherOr
109
Notes
127
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About the author (2010)

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis , one of the most respected spiritual leaders and teachers of his generation, has been a rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, for close to forty years. He is the founding chairman of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, an organization that identifies and offers grants to those non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews threatened by the agents of Nazi savagery. He is also the founder of Jewish World Watch, which aims to raise moral consciousness within the Jewish community. Synagogues and other religious institutions are now supporting this effort across the country.Rabbi Schulweis is the author of many books, including: Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey (Jewish Lights), Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion, For Those Who Can't Believe, Finding Each Other in Judaism, In God's Mirror, and two books of original religious poetry and meditation-- From Birth to Immortality and Passages in Poetry . His Evil and the Morality of God is regarded as a classic.

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