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Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself.In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life's most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards?To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion's moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary.



About the Author

Donniel Hartman

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute and the author of The Boundaries of Judaism, coeditor of Judaism and the Challenges of Modern Life, and coauthor of Spheres of Jewish Identity. He is the founder of some of the most extensive education, training, and enrichment programs for scholars, educators, rabbis, and religious and lay leaders in Israel and North America, and is a prominent essayist, blogger, and lecturer on issues of Israeli politics and policy, Judaism, and the Jewish community.



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