Podcast: Rabbi David Saperstein on Authentic Religion

Rabbi David Saperstein talks about the connections between holiness and social justice, healing the world, and authentic religion.

In this fifth episode of Progressive Religious Voices, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, speaks powerfully about the need to rekindle the prophetic tradition in Judaism that evokes a vision of human beings as partners with G-d in creating a better world.

Here’s a short excerpt from the podcast: 

We have lost somewhat the deep religious grounding of the social gospel tradition in the Christian community, of the prophetic tradition in the Jewish community, that our engagement in responding to the call of our texts and our God and our religions for us to be God’s partners in creating a better world is a deeply and profoundly religious task. And working to recapture that is I think the central challenge…. And any religion that does not speak to the great moral issues of the lives of its people, particularly its young, or the great moral issues of their world will fail to capture their imagination, their loyalty, their engagement, and we back off of that prophetic thrust for justice and peace that was so central to the Abrahamic traditions at our peril.

Download: [Podcast – mp3] | [Transcript – PDF]

About Rabbi David Saperstein

Rabbi David Saperstein is the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Described in a The Washington Post profile as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” he represents the national Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the administration. The Center advocates on a broad range of social justice issues, provides legislative and programmatic materials used by the Jewish community nationwide, and coordinates social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.

About the Podcasts

Progressive Religious Voices is a bi-monthly podcast of interviews gleaned from nearly 100 interviews with progressive religious leaders. You can subscribe to the podcast feed directly or on iTunes to get all 24 exciting interviews that we will feature throughout 2008.

You can also read more about the growing progressive religious movement in my forthcoming book, Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming American Public Life. The book is available for pre-order from Amazon.com and will be in bookstores nationwide in August 2008.