Giles covered a lot of ground in our conversation. For those wanting to listen, here is the full and unedited version of our conversation. You can find a shorter version of our discussion on the iTunes page. Enjoy!
Today I had the great pleasure of welcoming our first guest to Politics at the Cross+Roads, Rev Canon Dr Giles Fraser. Giles will be well known to many listeners as a journalist with Unherd (and previously with the Guardian). Giles is a priest and canon in the Church of England and he regularly contributes to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and the Moral Maze. We had an absolutely fascinating discussion about how he sees the relationship between socialism and conservatism, about whether the pandemic is a post liberal moment and how the Church roots us in community, warts and all.
I’m pulling together a series of video interviews with prominent public figures who are Christians and who also openly discuss their political convictions.
The series, called Politics at the Cross+Roads is organised around the major political philosophies of our day: liberalism, post-liberalism, socialism and conservatism.
So I speak with well-known, thinking Christians from across the political spectrum, looking at why they’ve come to the positions they have and how their faith has helped them get there.
Together, my guests and I explore such questions as,
- When has your Christianity come into conflict with your politics?
- How do your political convictions and your faith interact?
- What does the Christian faith (and your particular denomination or confession) have to say to the political tradition you inhabit?
- And what does the political tradition you inhabit have to say to your faith?
I hope that you enjoy watching.
James KA Smith’s address to Christians in Parliament from 2018 is a must listen for the week between Christ the King Sunday (a relative newcomer to the Liturgical Calendar) and Advent. Check it out below:
The British public has perhaps been never more politically engaged, and yet never more politically disillusioned.
As the Hansard Society’s Audit of Political Engagement for 2018 and 2019 show, opinions of the governing systems are are their lowest point in 15 years, even as the appetite for political change and engagement has grown.
On the one hand, the number of elections post-2014, including of the most significance of these, the Referendum on EU Membership, has generated an unprecedented level of active political activism among the British population. The Hansard Society refers to the increase in electoral events as an “‘electric shock therapy’ for political engagement”.
On the other hand, there is a general weariness and dissatisfaction just now with political parties and candidates. In particular, there’s a suspicion that the options on offer appear to propagate the interests of the financial and cultural establishment. In the US, this is largely made up of different types of big business, as American academic and commentator Bret Weinstein explains. Disillusioned with the candidates on the ticket, various individuals have formed the Unity 2020 campaign, a movement for a third party candidate, and alternative form of politics. Closer to home, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has sought to transcend the traditional divides between capital and labour, nation and world and even private and public sector (see their New Declaration from 2018, one of the more powerful pieces of political writing in recent years).Continue reading “My Politics Needs Christianity”