Holy war 

  
I read this book in October and realise that it was written some time before recent events had started to swamp our collective conscious.

I’m not one for the mawkish sentimentality of the ‘je suis’ movements or seeking to be seen to ‘take sides’.I don’t wish to give credence to the doom mongering hand wringers of the Daily Mail  or Britian Furst (sic) ( it’s well known racists can’t spell). Neither do I diminish the power that religion holds and nor do I wish to dismiss the current events as merely that: ‘events’

I do, however, think there is a place for learned and scholarly discussion in the face of rhetoric and blame. 

Sacks delivers a view which comes unashamedly from a Jewish perspective and it is none the worse for that. He states this very early on and it allows him freedom to draw on a historical narrative which has already occurred, namely that of the holocaust. He doesn’t allow that to blinker his discussion and he takes this back much further to an earlier story, and that within the Jewish Bible and well known, the story of Genesis. Through this he explores the origins of our differences and at the same time hammers home the similarities. The conclusion of the argument he explores is that we each choose to look at the foundations of our faiths in very different ways but it is the interpretation which has become very skewed for some groups from within the Abrahamic faiths. 

In the end the conclusion of his book is depressing even if his argument shows hope. 

This is not going to end well 

Maybe there is a time to start showing ‘love’ rather than hate. I’ve heard too many ‘Christians’ espousing hatred from within a loving faith perspective and it needs to stop. 

One of the most surprising assertions  he makes is that the future is likely to be a more religious society and not less so. I see his point,

 and do believe this is the case. A western world  which has become progressively more secular has allowed the rise of this problem in the Middle East. This secular society throws ‘labels’ at the So called Islamic state,  classing it as a ‘medieval throwback’ whilst profferring no actual way forward which is likely to work. The secular society simply blames ‘religion’ and clamours for its demise. The secular world struggles to have anything like the power of religion precisely because it acquires power from within itself and does not look to God for power. When the secular world finally works this out then there might be a chance for peace. So, yes, I too think there will be a more religious future.

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