Our Immoral Soul : A Manifesto of Spiritual Disobedience by Rabbi Nilton Bonder

Rabbi Bonder turns a few conventional religious ideas on their heads as he examines the Bible and other Jewish teachings to identify the forces at play in individual, social, and spiritual transformation. Religious conformists believe that obeying the established moral order will lead to the salvation of our souls.

On the contrary, says Bonder, the human spirit is nourished by what society labels immoral. Even the Bible legitimizes the notion that we have a God-given urge to rebel against the status quo in order to evolve, grow, and ascend. It is this “immoral” soul of ours that impels us to do battle with God—and out of this clash, Bonder predicts, a new humanity will emerge. In the course of discussion, the author examines a variety of intriguing issues touching on religion, science, and culture, including the teachings of evolutionary psychology; the relation of body and soul; infidelity in marriage; anti-Semitism and the Jew as traitor; transgression, sacrifice, and redemption in Judaism and Christianity; and the Messiah as archetypal transgressor.

Rabbi Nilton Bonder was born in Brazil and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He leads workshops on spirituality in management for such corporations as IBM, the Brazilian Oil Company, and the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo. He is known in Brazil as the Green Rabbi for his activism in environmental causes. He also serves as president of the Institute for Religious Studies, the largest forum for civil rights activities in Latin America.

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