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Why our societies are coming apart and how to put them back together

Why our societies are coming apart and how to put them back together

Theos will host a lunchtime conversation with Jon Yates and Dr Madeleine Pennington.

You can watch the live–stream back here: 

Join us on June 3rd at 12.30pm BST, when Theos will host a lunchtime conversation with Jon Yates and Dr Madeleine Pennington. 

Jon will discuss his new book Fractured: Why our societies are coming apart and how to put them back together again which examines how we have become so divided and what we can do about this.  

Theos’ recent research sought to understand the impact of churches on the cohesiveness of our communities across England, and another report explored the role of faith and belief in cohesive societies. The event will also consider what the role of faith groups are in the approach Jon takes.  

Jon’s book tackles a deceptively simple idea: the more we spend time with people unlike ourselves, doing things together, the more understanding, tolerant, and even friendly we become. 

Combining fresh analysis with a wealth of fascinating examples, Jon demonstrates the ways in which our societies have become disconnected, so that most of us spend less and less time with people who are different — as defined by age, race, or class, earning power or education. It argues that the pandemic has created an unprecedented opportunity for us to come together. So we must forge a new ‘Common Life’ – a set of shared practises and institutions — that can strengthen the glue that bonds our societies, in all their diversity.  Further information and the book’s reviews can be read here 

Jon Yates is the Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund and has spent the last two decades of working to bring people together both in government and outside. Dr Madeleine  Pennington is Head of Research at Theos. 


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Madeleine Pennington

Madeleine Pennington

Madeleine is Head of Research at Theos. She holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, and previously worked as a research scholar at a retreat and education centre in Philadelphia. She is the author of ‘The Christian Quaker: George Keith and the Keithian Controversy’ (Brill: 2019), ‘Quakers, Christ and the Enlightenment’ (OUP, 2021), ‘The Church and Social Cohesion: Connecting Communities and Serving People’ (Theos, 2020), and ‘Cohesive Societies: Faith and Belief’ (British Academy, 2020). Outside of Theos, she sits on the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations.



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