Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence (2015)
[Non nel nome di Dio - Confrontarsi con la violenza religiosa]

SACKS, Jonathan


  • Moral assessment: (P-B2) Readers with Christian formation and specific background about the subject matter
  • Public: Specialized

L'autore è stato per molti anni rabbino capo della “United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth”. Con questo libro, partendo da una analisi biblica delle rivalità fraterne presenti nel libro della Genesi, lette anche alla luce della "rivalità mimetica" di R. Girard, invita i fedeli delle tre religioni monoteistiche a riconoscere le violenze del passato e a mutare atteggiamento verso gli altri nella linea della "Nostra aetate". Il libro contiene importanti riconoscimenti a quello che ha fatto in questo senso la Chiesa Cattolica negli ultimi 60 anni. Al contempo, quando ricostruisce episodi come le Crociate e l'inquisizione o legge l'epistola ai Galati di San Paolo, lo fa con una visione parziale e anche superficiale (almeno rispetto alla acribia con cui legge le pagine della Genesi), il che è comprensibile per un Rabbino. A un certo punto cita anche Il Codice da Vinci e l'Opus Dei, definita come setta. Ma a parte questi limiti, il libro ha molti aspetti positivi, perché può essere visto come testo importante per interpretare i tempi che stiamo vivendo e spiegare in che senso il Papa oggi critica il "proselitismo". Infatti, anche se l'autore elogia come superiori i tre monoteismi rispetto al relativismo e al secolarismo imperanti, e ammette la libertà di ogni uomo di professare liberamente la fede che vuole, quello che viene biasimato è un atteggiamento di "condanna a priori" del fedele che non appartiene alla propria religione e la coercizione in ambito religioso: se con questo si intende proselitismo, allora si capisce sia la posizione di Sacks e si intende meglio la odierna accezione del termine in questione. Il libro si conclude con un elogio della cultura della responsabilità rispetto alla cultura del "biasimo". B.A. (Italia, 2017)

Books menu

  • Literature
  • Thought
  • Icons
  • Others
  • Contribute

What do the moral assessments mean in relation to works of literature?

The assessments are divided into two groups, one for Literature (L) and the other for Thought (P). For Literature the assessments are as follows:

  •  L-A1: Nothing morally inappropriate.
  •  L-A2: Nothing morally inappropriate, although may be unsuitable for younger readers (e.g. because there are topics requiring a certain maturity on the part of the reader).
  •  L-B1: Some morally inappropriate content.
  •  L-B2: Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
  •  L-C1: Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
  • L-C2: Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
  •  L-C3: Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.

What do the moral assessments mean in relation to non-fiction works?

Works of Thought (P) are assessed according to the degree of knowledge required to evaluate the implications of affirmations made with respect to the Christian faith.

  • P-A1 or P-A2: These books present doctrinal matters in accordance with the teaching of the Church as set out, for example, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They avoid complicated topics and subjects not yet theologically settled. They are grouped according to whether or not they require a certain minimum of Christian formation.
    •  P-A1: General readership.
    •  P-A2: Readers with general cultural or basic Christian formation.
  • P-B1 or P-B2: To appreciate how certain topics impinge on the faith, the reader requires a good cultural formation with respect to the matters dealt with (P-B1), or even university-level studies in these areas (P-B2). In particular, these books may take for granted certain widely-held opinions opposed to the faith, even though such ideas may not be central to their argument – and can be easily detected by readers with a certain amount of formation.
    •  P-B1: Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
    •  P-B2: Readers with Christian formation and knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • P-C1, P-C2 or P-C3: Because of the implications of the topics dealt with, or the need to be aware of the reasons why some of the theories set out in the book are invalid, it is always necessary for the reader to have very good formation in the area in question, whether university-level (P-C1) or specialist (e.g. a doctorate: P-C2). Hence the assessments place emphasis on the objective content of the book, rather than on its possible readership. The P-C3 assessment is reserved for those works which set out to contradict or deny certain aspects of the faith or the teachings of the Catholic Magisterium.
    •  P-C1: Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
    •  P-C2: Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
    •  P-C3: Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.

What does the star mean ?

The star is used to recommend some of the books. Often they are classics which are part of the history of literature. We also recommend new publications and bestsellers which might be better than average for that genre or author.

What do the icons brief note and pdf means?

These icons indicate that a brief note is available supporting the assessment of the book, or that a review can be downloaded as a pdf file.

How are the assessments and the brief notes put together?

The assessments and brief notes are drawn up by one of the intellector.org coordinators after studying and weighing up the contributions and proposals received, possibly combining different opinons.

How can I contribute?

You can get involved by reviewing books (placing special emphasis on their moral contents), proposing an assessment of them, and sending them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You can also help by: sending links to reviews of a book appearing elsewhere on the web; sending material to help those studying important works; pointing out mistakes or errata; etc.