Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground
In this report, sociologist Grace Davie explores religion’s renewed visibility in public life, asking why we have got here and what the future holds.
Nick Spencer discusses politicians and religion, the Thought for the Day programme and why religious stories can’t be reserved for the ‘religious slot’, for Total Politics.
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 Friends Programme to find out how you can help our work.
Jesus walks into the Today programme studio. He’s expecting another grilling. John Humphrys is well briefed. He knows his lines. More to the point, he knows the law and he wants to make sure this self–appointed “teacher” does too.
Humphrys soon gets frustrated, however. As often as not, Jesus answers a question with another question. When he doesn’t, he is so abrupt as to be almost rude. And then, when he finally appears to have been backed into a corner, he tells this long rambling story about a man on the way to Jericho being mugged and someone crossing the road to help him – and then has the temerity to ask the interviewer what it means. This is going nowhere. Humphrys wearily thanks his prey and then gratefully – for once – introduces Thought for the Day.
The scene is improbable but not perhaps as improbable as the idea of wheeling Jesus in to do the Thought for the Day slot itself. Whether the slot is in fact as anodyne as the Today presenters claim (or whether it is dull because the BBC is terrified of letting its thinkers say anything edgy), Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan somehow seems better suited to politics than religion.
Read the full article at totalpolitics.com
Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, including Magisteria: the entangled histories of science and religion (Oneworld, 2023), The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014). He is host of the podcast Reading Our Times.
Posted 2 November 2017
See other recent events and articles
Elizabeth Oldfield speaks with author Katherine May. 28/02/2024Podcast
After addressing 17 new generals of the British Army, Chine McDonald reflects on what in this country is worth fighting for. 26/02/2024In Brief
Theos researches and investigates the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world.