In Religion and Public Doctrine in Modern England, Maurice Cowling defines the principles according to which the intellectual history of modern England should be written and argue that the history of Christianity is of primary importance. In this volume, which is self-contained, he makes a further contribution to understanding the role which Christianity has played in modern English thought. There are critical accounts of the thought of Toynbee, T. S. Eliot, Collingwood, Butterfield, Oakeshott, David Knowles, Evelyn Waugh and Churchill. It also contains less extended accounts of the thought of A. N. Whitehead, of Enoch Powell Minister. The book is given coherence by the connected ideas of the ubiquity of religion, of literature as an instrument of religious indoctrination, and of the intimacy of the connections between the political, philosophical, literary and religious assumptions that are to be found among the leaders of the English intelligentsia.
Good for Society: Christian Values and Conservative Politics In ‘Good for Society’ Martin Parsons has written a book well worthy of its sub title ‘Christian Values and Conservative Politics.’. Good for Society is a robust defence of both our Christian heritage and the Conservative Party. Rt Hon Lord Tebbit CH, former Chairman of the Conservative Party, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Secretary of State for Employment This is a magnificent, detailed and authoritative examination of the relevance of Christian teaching to today’s Conservative Party. Even when you do not agree with a deduction you are still challenged. Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative MP and Shadow Home Secretary Dr Parsons brings together expertise in politics, careful biblical study, research in Islam and experience of life under the Taliban in Afghanistan. He mounts a powerful case for identifying Christian values and view of the world in the development of the laws, liberties and institutions of the English speaking peoples. He also identifies these values in the approaches of Conservative politics and politicians. These must be recovered in order to develop a narrative and values to address the threat of Islamism which seeks to impose sharia both subtly and violently. Liberal secularists who might disagree with Dr Parsons need to demonstrate a more convincing case than he presents on all fronts. Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life Christians in many parts of the world, who are influenced by progressivism, reject Conservative values on social policy by default. They uncritically assume that big government, redistribution of wealth and other leftist policies are closer to the teaching of Scripture, while capitalism, wealth creation, individualism and other Conservative values represent greed, oppression and injustice. Dr Martin Parsons turns this myth on its head. Exploring the great philosophical and historical traditions of Conservatism and expounding the teaching of the Bible, he demonstrates that Conservatism is firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian worldview. Dr Parsons has written the definitive book on Conservatism and Christianity. I wish this book were written years ago. It would have saved me from years of wandering in the desert of progressivism. Rev. Dr Jules Gomes, theologian and political journalist
When Lord Denning died in 1999, the leader writer of the Daily Telegraph wrote of ‘a deep and almost tangible ‘Englishness’ which ‘shone through many of Lord Denning’s celebrated judgments. He was patriotic, sceptical and humane; intelligent without being intellectual’. Since 1999, the nature of English identity has become the subject of debate and contention, not only within the academy, but also in politics and the media. In some respects, it could be argued that the debate about English identity is one of the most important in contemporary Britain. The Last of England considers the role of Englishness in the jurisprudence of Lord Denning, setting his conception of the role of the judiciary in the constitution, his views about the nature of history, the land and war, his understanding of equity, in particular the way in which he developed the doctrine of estoppel, his attitudes towards immigration and race and his approach to the law of the European Community in the context of the developing debate about the nature of English identity.
Explains how William Gladstone responded to the 'Irish Question', and in so doing changed the British and Irish political landscape. Religion, land, self-government and nationalism became subjects of intensive political debate, raising issues about the constitution and national identity of the whole United Kingdom.
The interconnection between British Christianity and British imperialism in India is a widely acknowledged historical fact. Despite this, there are few books which study this phenomenon. Informed by an essentially Gramscian analysis of colonial discourse, this pioneering book identifies fundamental `religious′ and ideological commonalities that linked British policies in the domestic and imperial arenas and throws fresh light on the construction and collapse of the Raj.
The clash between atheism and religion has become the defining battle of the 21st century. Books on and about atheism retain high profile and popularity, and atheist movements on both sides of the Atlantic capture headlines with high-profile campaigns and adverts. However, very little has been written on the history of atheism, and this book fills that conspicuous gap. Instead of treating atheism just as a philosophical or scientific idea about the non-existence of God, Atheists: The Origin of the Species places the movement in its proper social and political context. Because atheism in Europe developed in reaction to the Christianity that dominated the continent's intellectual, social and political life, it adopted, adapted and reacted against its institutions as well as its ideas. Accordingly, the history of atheism is as much about social and political movements as it is scientific or philosophical ideas. This is the story not only of Hobbes, Hume, and Darwin, but also of Thomas Aitkenhead hung for blasphemous atheism, Percy Shelley expelled for adolescent atheism, and the Marquis de Sade imprisoned for libertine atheism; of the French revolutionary Terror and the Soviet League of the Militant Godless; of the rise of the US Religious Right and of Islamic terrorism. Looking at atheism in its full sociopolitical context helps explain why it has looked so very different in different countries. It also explains why there has been a recent upsurge in atheism, particularly in Britain and the US, where religion has unexpectedly come to play such a significant role in political affairs. This leads us to a somewhat paradoxical conclusion: we should expect to hear more about atheism in the future for the simple reason that God is back.
This book re-examines the claim of the Conservative Party to be the ‘national party’ and in its politics to express the enduring ‘national interest’. It explores the historical character of the Conservative Party, in particular the significance of the nation in its self-understanding. It addresses the political culture of the modern party, one which proclaims a Unionist vocation but rests mainly on English support, and considers how the Englishness of the party is reconciled with the politics of British statecraft. It considers the constitutional challenges which the Conservative Party faces in managing a changing Union, in negotiating a changing Europe and in defining a changing national interest. The book is essential reading not only for students and scholars of the Conservative Party but also for those who want to make sense of the transformations taking place in modern British politics.
This study offers a theological analysis of, and response to, the modern world, and is at once a theology of culture and of creation. In the first half of the book, Gunton expounds some of the distinctive and often contradictory features of modern culture. It emerges that modern culture, far from being unique in its difficulties, reflects similar inadequacies in ancient thought. The distinctive pathos of modernity is to be found in one unique feature, namely the displacement of God that is a mark of all realms of life. The roots of the problem are sought beyond the Enlightenment, where they are often located, in the combination of platonism and Christian theology which dominated medieval Christian thought. At the heart of the matter is a deficient - because of an inadequately trinitarian - understanding of creation and creation's God. The second half of the book develops a powerful theology of creation where due weight can be given to both universal and particular, both society and the individual.
This book examines the contribution of different Christian traditions to the waves of democratisation that have swept various parts of the world in recent decades. It offers a historical overview of Christianity’s engagement with the development of democracy, before focusing in detail on the period since the 1970s. Successive chapters deal with: the Roman Catholic conversion to democracy and the contribution of that church to democratisation; the Eastern Orthodox ‘hesitation’ about democracy; the alleged threat to American democracy posed by the politicisation of conservative Protestantism; and the likely impact on democratic development of the global expansion of Pentecostalism. The author draws out several common themes from the analysis of these case studies, the most important of which is the ‘liberal-democracy paradox’. This ensures that there will always be tensions between faiths that proclaim some notion of absolute truth and political orders that are rooted in the idea of compromise, negotiation and bargaining. Written in an accessible style, this book will appeal to students of politics, sociology and religion, and prove useful on a range of advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses.