Global Covenant: A Jewish Perspective on Globalization

Jonathan Sacks

in Making Globalization Good

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257010
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596223 | DOI:
 Global Covenant: A Jewish Perspective on Globalization

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Jonathan Sacks, in presenting a Jewish perspective on global capitalism, argues the case for a more covenantal (rather than contractual) approach towards its governance, which should take, as its starting point, the belief in the moral equality of each and every human being. He traces this idea back to the prophets of ancient Israel, who conceived God as transcending place, and national boundaries and humanity as a single moral community linked by a covenant of mutual responsibility; he develops and reframes this theme in the light of the dramatic and far‐reaching changes in information and communications technology, in economic and institutional structures, and in social mores that have occurred over the intervening centuries. Sacks avers that, if nothing else, the current age of global capitalism is underpinning the need for the upgrading and reprioritization of many virtues that have always been especially valued by Judaism. To those of creativity, cooperation, and comparison identified by John Dunning in Ch. 1, Sacks adds four more, viz. control (over one's destiny under the guidance and authority of God), conservation (environmental sustainability), coexistence (the dignity, and acceptance of, cultural and religious diversity), and covenant. He argues for a multicultural ethical approach to tackling many of the current ills of global capitalism, and is at pains to stress that Judaism embodies a dual morality, one based on a universal code applying to all persons (thus emphasizing our shared humanity), and the other based on a particular way of life demanded of the heirs of those who followed Moses into the wilderness.

Keywords: capitalism; coexistence; comparison; conservation; control; cooperation; covenant; creativity; global capitalism; globalization; governance; Judaism; morality; multicultural ethics; responsibility; virtues

Chapter.  11862 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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