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Theos publishes essay on Tony Blair, Christianity and Iraq

Theos publishes essay on Tony Blair, Christianity and Iraq

Did Blair’s Christian Faith send him into Iraq? New analysis published

For immediate release

In the week of the Chilcott inquiry, Theos publishes a new analysis examining what role Tony Blair’s Christian faith had in his geo-political approach.

Blair has been one of modern Britain’s longest serving and most influential prime ministers, whose social, political and foreign policy reforms fundamentally changed British society. But while the Blair administration would not “do God”, according to its spin-chief Alastair Campbell, a new essay by academic Andrew Connell suggests that religious belief was a central component to Blair’s political and personal identity.

In his essay, Connell argues:

Blair’s Christian faith did not cause his intervention in Iraq but it was a key part of the moral outlook on the world that made Iraq possible;

He took a theological idea of community (“Persons in Relation” according to the title of a book he was much influenced by) and used it as a means of understanding the community of nation-states and the duty of getting involved when such states went dysfunctional;

He took a deep sense of moral activism and responsibility from his religious faith into international politics;

He was, however, vehemently opposed (in the case of Iraq) by many prominent Christians, not least the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The essay is essential reading, for those wanting to understand the premiership of Tony Blair, the ideology of New Labour, and the process by which Britain went into Iraq in 2003. 


1. This is part of a series called The Mighty and The Almighty, which has included Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin.  The essay series will be published as a book by BiteBack next year. The essay on Angela Merkel was covered by The Economist here.

2. Theos’ Research Director, Nick Spencer, is available for comment on 07914 723 839. For other press inquiries, please contact Hussein Kesvani on 07814 093457.

Posted 4 July 2016

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