Reading Excerpts

Religion and the Ecology of Freedom

In describing religion, Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the Commonwealth and renown public intellectual, says religion is:

part of the ecology of freedom because it supports families, communities, charities, voluntary associations, active citizenship and concern for the common good. It is a key contributor to civil society, which is what holds us together without the coercive power of law. Without it we will depend entirely on the State, and when that happens we risk what J. L. Talmon called ‘totalitarian democracy’, which is what revolutionary France eventually became.

Jonathan Sacks, ‘The Pope is Right about the Threat to Freedom’, The Times, 3 February 2010, as quoted in Rupert Shortt, Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good? (London: SPCK, 2019), p. 37. ISBN: 978-0-281-07871-4.