Theos

Home / Events / Archive

Should religion and the state be separate? Chatham House debate

Should religion and the state be separate? Chatham House debate

Nick Spencer spoke on a panel debate at Chatham House about state secularism on 7th December 2017.

Interested by this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e–newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Supporter Programme to find out how you can help our work.


Theos’ Research Director Nick Spencer joined a panel debating arguments for and against the separation of religion and the state at Chatham House, London. Can faith co–exist with states in a meaningful and useful way in the 21st century? What kind of benefits can religion provide a state that secularism can not? What effect does the preference of one religion have on the rights of citizens outside of that religious group? And is religion too often discussed in terms of being a cause of conflict and division rather a force for peace and good?

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, Humanists UK
Zineb El Rhazoui, Columnist, Charlie Hebdo (2011–16)
Nick Spencer, Research Director, Theos
Abdullah Al Andalusi, Co–Founder, The Muslim Debate Initiative
Chair: Dr Lois Lee, Research Fellow, University of Kent

Listen to the full debate here.

 Image by Leonard Bentley from flickr.com available under this Creative Commons Licence

Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

Nick is Director of Research at Theos. Nick is an acclaimed author of books and reports, most recently The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014).

The Royal Institute of International Affairs
Chatham House
10 St James’s Square
London SW1Y 4LE

Get regular email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once or twice a month.

Thank you for signing up.