The issue of what constitutes 'the good', in persons, in relationships and in society is an interesting one. It is far less straightforward than many assume, says Simon Barrow. He highlights the importance of theology, and the Christian doctrine of God in particular, for appreciating how we arrive at 'goodness', and how we develop an ethic based on communal virtue in the church and beyond.
As the place of religion in society once again hits the headlines in the UK, literary critic Professor Terry Eagleton, Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is giving the 2012 Firth Lectures on the theme ‘Culture and the Death of God’.
Britain is “a Christian country”, the language, culture and politics of which is “steeped in the Bible”, declared UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently. The Bible provides an "appalling moral compass", biologist and vigorous atheist Richard Dawkins responded. Both, despite elements of truth, revealed a deep misunderstanding of Christianity, says Savi Hensman.
An Oxford University centre is from the middle of 2008 to award its first grants to international research bodies participating in the recently announced £1.9 million programme examining how people come to believe in God.