No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments

Ana Levy-Lyons. Center Street, $26 (304) ISBN 978-1-4789-7721-6
In this accessible reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments, Levy-Lyons, senior minister at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, N.Y., argues that, despite the signs that religion is dying out, what religions offer is more important than ever. According to Levy-Lyons, there is such a thing as too much freedom and too few moral boundaries. She challenges readers to consider the importance of communal rules, rituals, and a set of ethics that govern daily life, rather than subscribe to the notion that anything goes, which she feels has become the norm in an increasingly secularized American society. She argues that the Ten Commandments are a time-tested framework for social justice and applies an inclusive, progressive interpretation of the Commandments throughout the book: her take on the Third Commandment (do not take the name of God in vain) involves its relevance to hate speech, and she writes that the Eighth Commandment (do not steal) is really about protecting the environment and honoring the gifts of the natural world. This useful book serves as an invitation for readers to reconsider what these ancient rules have to offer in the present day. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/26/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
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