State, Church and Community, LONDON (14/3/19)
In partnership with our friends at Theos and the Benedict XVI Centre we held a debate on 14 March 2019 to discuss the relationship between the Church, community and the state at St Mary's Church in Putney, historic home of the 1647 Putney Debates.
Our speakers were Maurice Glasman, John Milbank, Jenny Sinclair and Mike Royal. The questions they and the audience addressed included:
What lies behind the current period of social and political upheaval, and what should the future hold? In the UK, are we witnessing the death of the old order before the beginning of the new? If so, then the forging of a renewed settlement is the great task of our time - and it is the responsibility not only of politicians, but of all of us. How can people across the churches respond? What is the distinctive vision churches can contribute?
Maurice Glasman, political theorist and Labour life peer in the House of Lords. Lord Glasman is Director of the Common Good Foundation, and is the founder of Blue Labour, a term he coined in 2009. Author of Unnecessary Suffering, he has a longstanding involvement in community organising which included ten years on the Living Wage campaign.
John Milbank, Anglican theologian, philosopher, poet and political theorist. Professor Milbank has taught at the universities of Nottingham, Virginia, Cambridge and Lancaster. Among his most influential books is the recently co-authored The Politics of Virtue: Post-liberalism and the Human Future. He is the founder of the movement known as Radical Orthodoxy which began in the 1990s.
Jenny Sinclair, Founder Director of Together for the Common Good, a charity working to strengthen the bonds of social trust we all share in order to achieve mutual flourishing. She leads a body of associates and volunteers calling and resourcing people to fulfil their vocational responsibility by putting Common Good principles into practice.
Mike Royal, Co Chief Executive of Cinnamon Network UK which helps churches with their community engagement. He is the national pioneer of Transforming Lives For Good TLG, having set up a network of Alternative Education Provision schools in partnership with churches. He has an academic background in urban planning and black theology and lives in Birmingham. He has strong policy formulation experience and has 25 years of pastoral ministry. Mike was consecrated a Pentecostal Bishop in 2016.
Chair: Elizabeth Oldfield Director of Theos. She appears regularly in the media, including BBC One, Sky News, and the World Service, writing in The Financial Times and delivering Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. She is a regular conference speaker and chair. Before joining Theos in August 2011, Elizabeth worked for BBC TV and radio. She has an MA in Theology from King’s College London.
This was the third in our three-part series of public debates, State, Society and the Common Good, bringing people together to talk about the proper role of the State in generating a good society. Video of the first two debates in the series is available: on Migration and the Common Good (2/7/18), and The Family, the State and the Common Good (8/11/18).
For more about Common Good Thinking, click here.
This series is kindly sponsored by CCLA, one of the UK's largest ethical fund managers for charities, religious organisations and the public sector.
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