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Neither Private nor Privileged: The Role of Christianity in Britain Today

Neither Private nor Privileged: The Role of Christianity in Britain Today

Nick Spencer discusses the role of Christianity in Britain today.

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It argues that, despite Christianity’s historic “theocratic temptation”, today’s mainstream Christian traditions advocate a far more nuanced approach to “public witness”. The report examines what this “witness” should look like in practice: should it occur within, without or even against the governing authorities?

The answer to this question will differ according to the “moral orientations” of the state in which the church operates, thus suggesting that the role of Christianity should be adjudicated on a case–by–case basis rather than dictated from on high.

Ultimately, however, underpinning this case by–case approach, the report insists that the role of Christianity in the public square should depend on the extent to which, by doing what it must do, it can persuade the public that it is “doing good”.

 Image from the public domain.

Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

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.

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