Reflections on Circumcision Debate

A few months ago the Swedish Council of Christians and Jews requested the ICCJ to offer some reflections on the debate over circumcision going on in Sweden. On behalf of the ICCJ Executive Board ICCJ President Dr. Deborah Weissman wrote a short statement, published on this website. This statement is part of a more extensive text on the same issue available now on the ICCJ website: “Some Reflections on the Debate over Circumcision”.

With this booklet ICCJ wants to take part in a most important discourse taking place in those Western countries that have gone through a decades-long process of secularization. In each of these societies people are searching for common ethical standards. For centuries religion has provided these standards. But now religious beliefs have lost their central role on the market of opinions, ethical standards stemming from the religious domain are perceived as just one of the many to be considered, and only rarely they are given a high priority.

But instead of standing to the side, mourning the minor role of religion in modern societies and leaving the public discourse to others, ICCJ wants to be part of this debate, trying to raise the sensibility of our interlocutors for the contribution of religious beliefs to common ethical standards. ICCJ wants to contribute to the public discourse coming from a sixty years history of sometimes painful learning to carefully listening to the other. Acceptance of the other does not have to deteriorate into a cultural relativism that rejects all ethical standards, in particular those originating from religious beliefs.

The complete (English) text of Dr. Deborah Weissman’s booklet “Some Reflections on the Debate over Circumcision” can be found here:

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