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

Ziauddin Sardar in The Independent:

Sacks We need all of our brain to understand and appreciate the world around us. The left-brain, associated largely with scientific activity, and the right hemisphere concerned with religious matters, must work in unison. But they also have to be kept apart. The logic of one does not apply to the other. The challenge of our time is to keep the two separate but integrated and in balance. This, in essence, is the main message of The Great Partnership.

The learned and humane Jonathan Sacks normally speaks from within the Jewish tradition. But here he is much more inclusive, drawing from Judaism, Christianity and, he claims, Islam. He emphasises that the foundations of all three faiths rests on a personal God who created the universe in love and endowed all of us with the dignity of His image. His erudition is extensive. We are leisurely taken on a tour of sacred and poetic texts of Judaism and Christianity, as well as the thoughts of noted atheists and old-fashioned and postmodern philosophers. Sacks is not interested in proving the existence of God. He engages in a conversation, “a sustained argument for the sake of heaven”, to demonstrate that it is quite possible for a rational person to hold religious beliefs. Writing in the tradition of 18th-century religious philosophers, such as William Paley, Sacks hopes to promote tolerance and civility. The real urgent conflict, he suggests, is not between different kinds of belief and non-belief, but between militant dogmas, and their champions, of all varieties.

More here.