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The Faith in Politics Conference hosted by the Churchill Archives Centre (in association with the Cambridge Public Policy and the Woolf Institute) became a forum for politicians, academics, diplomats, clergy and international foundation representatives to discuss, debate and offer analysis on the role that faith plays in contemporary politics of multicultural Britain.
While the majority of the action took place in Churchill College’s Wolfson Hall, the conference was live tweeted and sent ripples of debate through the twittersphere. Over the two day conference, the panels set out to address major themes during the conference such as to what extent the state should be secular, to what extent religion should be involved in politics, and what impacts a secular code of ethics might have on the current political landscape.
The first day focused on the contemporary interplay of faith and politics. How the multicultural nature of British faith is changing and how that alters the context of political decisions, how religious issues of the twentieth century continue to shape public opinion and policy, and defining the legitimate role for Churches and of faith based foundations in public policy were major questions which were posed. Baroness Warsi’s keynote made an impression (both in the conference and on Twitter) as she remained resolute in the belief that ‘faith is at the heart of British politics.’
The second day offered more reflection on how faith had influenced British policy in the past, how the role of religion in Britain might be compared to Europe or the United States and how faith might continue to play a role in British foreign and domestic policy in the future. Specific reoccurring issues surrounding faith based education, the position of Bishops in the House of Lords, the nature of media coverage and representations of faith as well as comparisons between Britain and the United States and Europe were major currents of discourse thought out both days of conference.
While the conference obviously could not solve the issues reviewed during its sessions, it was felt to be a major success in that it brought several strands of thinkers, policy makers and believers together to exchange ideas , consider their positions, and reflect on the nature of faith in politics.
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The Rt. Hon. Baroness Warsi
Minister for Faith and Communities.Find out more
Exploring the legitimate role of the church and faith groups in policy making and public life and the limitations and benefits of this relationship.Fiind out more
By retracing British policies from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, this panel examined the nature of relationship between religion and foreign policy.Find out more
This panel considers the effects of religion in the making for Foreign policy in 21st century.Find out more
This panel took a comparative approach to the relationship between religion and government by comparing and contrasting the English model with the American and European models.Find out more