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The Spirit of Our Politics: Michael Wear and Marvin Rees in conversation

The Spirit of Our Politics: Michael Wear and Marvin Rees in conversation

Join Chine McDonald as she hosts Michael Wear and Marvin Rees in a discussion about Michael’s book ‘The Spirit of our Politics’ 18/02/2024

With over 50 elections being held globally in 2024, the stage is set for a year of speeches, statistics, slogans and slurs. Against a backdrop of immense national and social challenges, and fuelled by a 24–hour media cycle, it is likely to be a noisy and confrontational time.

In this unprecedented year, complete with its political unrest, division, and the polarisation taking place globally, what are the kinds of people we need in public life, and how might spiritual formation play a part in finding a better way through this political moment?

Michael Wear, president and CEO of the Center for Christianity and Public Life in Washington DC, argues in his new book The Spirit of Our Politics that we need a new paradigm of political involvement that might take inspiration from Christian wisdom and tradition, honed over many centuries.

Wear argues that by focusing on having the “right” politics, we lose sight of the kind of people we are becoming, to destructive results. When political division shows up not only on the campaign trail but also at our dinner tables, we wonder: san we be part of a better way?

As elections take place in 2024 on both sides of the Atlantic, Wear, in conversation with Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol, will discuss a distinctly Christian approach to politics that results in healing rather than division, kindness rather than hatred, and hope rather than despair. The conversation will be hosted by Chine McDonald, director of the religion and society think tank Theos.

This event will take place at St Margaret’s Church, in the political heart of the nation, and is hosted by Theos, the religion and society think tank, in partnership with the Westminster Abbey Institute.

Doors open at 6.15pm for a 6.45pm start, with the main part of the evening ending at 8pm. Attendees are then invited to stay for a reception in St Margaret’s Church. Copies of The Spirit of Our Politics by Michael Wear will be available to purchase on the night from Church House Bookshop, who will be in attendance.

About Michael Wear

Micheal Wearis founder, president, and CEO of the Center for Christianity and Public Life, a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution based in the nation’s capital with the mission to contend for the credibility of Christian resources in public life, for the public good. He has served as a trusted resource and advisor for a range of civic leaders on matters of faith and public life for the last fifteen years, including as a White House and presidential campaign staffer. Wear previously led Public Square Strategies, a consulting firm he founded that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape. He is the author of The Spirit of Our Politics: Spiritual Formation and the Renovation of Public Life, which argues that the kind of people we are has much to do with the kind of politics and public life we will have.

About Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees was elected Mayor of Bristol in 2016 and re–elected in 2021. He is a Yale World Fellow and Operation Black Vote graduate. Since 2016, he has overseen the building of over 12,500 homes, founded a city–owned housing company, and embarked on the largest council house building scheme for over 35 years. With an ambition to build a more sustainable, inclusive, and fairer city he has pioneered the award–winning One City approach. He leads Bristol’s response to both the climate and ecological emergencies and has secured £630 million for clean energy through Bristol City Leap. As a founding member of 3Ci and the Mayors Migration Council, he has advocated for cities to be at the heart of tackling climate change. Marvin has declared Bristol a City of Hope, built on ambition, inclusion, and social justice. He has achieved accredited Living Wage Employer and Living Wage City status, and introduced Ban the Box. Despite national austerity, he has kept all children’s centres and libraries open, retained a full Council Tax Reduction Scheme, and led city–wide campaigns on period poverty and child hunger.

About Theos

Theos is a Christian religion and society think tank researching the relationship between religion, politics and society in the contemporary world. Theos aims to impact opinion around issues of faith and belief in society through research, publications, media engagement, podcasts, animated videos, and events such as debates, seminars and lectures.

About the Westminster Abbey Institute

Westminster Abbey Institute aims to nurture and revitalise moral and spiritual values in public life and service. It seeks to replenish and sustain public servants of all faiths and none, and to celebrate and animate public service as a force for good. The Institute draws on Westminster Abbey’s resources of spirituality and scholarship, rooted in its daily worshipping life and broader Christian tradition, to convene discussion, nourish reflection and inspire regeneration.

St Margaret’s Church
Saint Margaret Street
London SW1P 3JX


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