HOW DO CHRISTIANS and others of good faith speak truthfully and act justly, with freedom and responsibility, in a world which seems increasingly characterised by the manipulations and distortions of power?

In this extended  essay, author, academic and retired bishop Dr David Atkinson considers such questions in the light of the ground-breaking work of philosopher Michael Polanyi – thereby introducing his thinking afresh to contemporary audiences.

In his two-part article, Dr Atkinson aims to help the churches, in particular, to think about how they understand themselves and the nature of their vocation in a ‘post-truth’ world. First, he introduces the life and work of Michael Polanyi and two key themes in his thought: The Way of Discovery and the personal component in all knowledge, and the key role of A Society of Explorers. In the second part of the essay, these insights are related to a number of areas of Christian speech and action and the church’s behaviour.

Read part one here, and part two here.

© David Atkinson is a respected writer and academic.  After three years research in organic chemistry, he trained for ordination in the Church of England. The longest part of his ministry was as Fellow and Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, after which he was Canon Chancellor at SouthwarkCathedral,  Archdeacon of  Lewisham, and Bishop of Thetford in Norwich Diocese.  He retired back to Southwark in 2009.  David has lectured at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and in USA, Hong Kong and South India.  He has written a number of books on biblical, ethical and pastoral themes,  most recently on climate change. His book, Rediscovering Hope, was  published in 2018 by Ekklesia, and in North America by Wipf & Stock, on license from Ekklesia, in 2019.

This material has also been published on the website of Fulcrum, to whom we extend cordial thanks and acknowledgments. 

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