Theos — Britain’s new public theology think tank
"We don’t do God" said the PM’s spin doctor. When Vanity Fair’s David Margolick tried to steer Tony Blair into a conversation about his religious beliefs, his director of strategy and communications, Alastair Campbell, butted in — "We don’t do God. I’m sorry. We don’t do God." Blair’s advisers seem to have decided that, mixing religion and politics is a bad idea.
That was 2003. Today God is back. The Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster today launched a new think tank — Theos. According to the Theos web site:
Society is embarking on a process of rapid de-secularisation. Interest in spirituality is increasing across Western culture. Faith is firmly on the agenda of both government and the media. In the arts, humanities and social sciences there are important and exciting intellectual developments currently taking place around questions of values and identity. Theos speaks into this new context. Our perspective is that faith is not just important for human flourishing and the renewal of society, but that society can only truly flourish if faith is given the space to do so.
With a wry nod to Campbell’s remarks, Theos has released it’s first major publication, “Doing God” A Future for Faith in the Public Square by Nick Spencer (pdf). Australia’s Clive Hamilton gets a mention in a chapter titled ‘the pursuit of happiness.’