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The relevance of the Bible for law and ethics in society today

The historian Niall Ferguson quotes the verdict of a member of the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences, tasked with finding an explanation for why the West overtook China in the sixteenth century and went on to industrial and scientific greatness. At first, he said, we thought it was because you had better guns than we had. Then we thought it was your political system. Next we thought it was your economic system. But for the past twenty years we have had no doubt: it was your religion.


What was it about the Judeo-Christian ethic that led the West to develop market economics, democratic politics, human rights and the free society? The lecture will look at seven aspects of biblical ethics, each of which played a part in this development: human dignity, freedom and responsibility; an ethic of guilt rather than shame; the family as the matrix of virtue, love as the basis of ethics and covenant as the basis of society. It will argue that all seven are currently under threat, and that the Bible remains an important voice in the public conversation about ethics and law.

A global religious leader, philosopher, author of over 25 books, renowned speaker and moral voice for our time, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University, the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University and Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King’s College London. Previously, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013. A frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world, Rabbi Sacks holds 16 honorary degrees and has been presented with several international awards in recognition of his work, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.


Speaker(s):

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks | talks

 

Date and Time:

13 March 2014 at 6:45 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

Council Room
Strand Campus
Strand
London
WC2R 2LS


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Organised by:

King's College London: School of Arts & Humanities
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Tickets:

Free

Available from:

Please visit our website to book your free place

Additional Information:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/trs/eventrecords/2014/rabbilordsackszxz.aspx

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