Together with the All-Party Parliamentary Interfaith Group, we invite you to a discussion on the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life which will take place on: Monday 7 March at 4 p.m. in Committee Room 2a in the House of Lords. The Commission was convened in 2013 by the Woolf Institute, and was chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss. It considered the place and role of religion and belief in contemporary … Continued
Faith-based organisations have engaged in a wide range of activities to help Syrian refugees, from raising funds and providing welfare support to campaigning on issues of resettlement and asylum.
British society is in serious need of higher levels of religious literacy. The potential for misunderstanding, stereotyping and oversimplification based on ignorance is huge – and schools have a big part to play in putting this right.
The final report of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public, Living With Difference: community, diversity and the common good, was published 7th December, 2015.
In this article, Dr Edward Kessler, Vice-Chair and Convenor of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life reflects on Public Spirit’s recent series of articles on the Commission. Arguing that religion and belief is not taken for granted, he suggests we need a nuanced approach to understanding the role of religion and belief in British public life.
Shenaz Bunglawala calls for the Commission to deliberate the disparity in legislative protections for groups defined by race and those defined by religion and the inevitable retort of some who claim that religion, as a ‘chosen’ trait does not merit or deserve the legal treatment prescribed to ascriptive traits.
Jenny Taylor argues that religion is too serious to have only a passing acquaintance with it, and requires that journalists acquire religious literacy. Indeed, she suggests that this means ‘essentially, catching up with the paradigm shift in British secular culture that is already upon us.’
DAVID VOAS: Don’t assume what needs proving. Religious privilege needs to be justified, not taken for granted.
Reflecting on debates on the public presence of religion, Grace Davie suggests the future is uncertain, but there is a need for forums like Public Spirit to permit a more constructive discussion on how to respond to religion in the public square, and the concepts, knowledge and vocabulary needed to ‘talk well about religion’.
John Milbank addresses the historical particularity of secularism in Britain and argues that the Christian legacy that can uniquely hold the balance between the religious and the secular.