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Spiritual Values in a Secular World with Rabbi Michael Lerner

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What if all of our social institutions – schools, health care systems, marketplace, even our political arena – nurtured our capacity to be loving and kind? What if every politician debated world issues in terms of his or her own spirituality? And what if corporations were obligated to support the social and environmental needs of the communities in which they do business? Rabbi Michael Lerner not only imagines such a world, he’s set about creating a template for how each of these institutions would operate. He observes how the religious right has infused our public policies with fear and domination, and calls on social and political leaders of all beliefs to bring their spiritual values to the table. He explains, “The only way we’re going to get security on this planet is when we start recognizing the ‘other’ as fundamentally like ourselves and not fundamentally different, and not buying into a vision that dichotomizes between us, the good guys, and them, the bad guys. We have to recognize that they have the same tears inside their souls that we have inside ours – namely a fearful voice and a hopeful voice.”

Rabbi Michael Lerner is an outspoken and controversial spiritual activist, and a frequent lecturer at universities and synagogues around the United States, Canada, and England. He is the editor of Tikkun magazine, founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and of the Tikkun Community, an international interfaith organization dedicated to peace, justice, generosity, and compassion. In 2001 Utne Reader named him one of “America’s 100 most important visionaries.” He is the and author of several books, including Spirit Matters: Global Healing and the Wisdom of the Soul (Hampton Roads 2002), Healing Israel/Palestine: A Path to Peace and Reconciliation (North Atlantic Books 2003), and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right (HarperSanFrancisco 2006). To learn more about the work of Rabbi Michael Lerner go to www.tikkun.org

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • How you can inspire others to act from a place of hope rather than a place of fear
  • How you can practice “spiritual politics”
  • How the religious right has managed to make theirs the only spiritual agenda
  • Why the religious right has gained so much support from the American people
  • How the political left has misinterpreted separation of church and state
  • What is the Spiritual Covenant with America and why it is relevant to the times

Program Number: 3124            Host: Michael Toms             Interview Date: 12/5/2005

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