It is now clear that modern Britain is secular, but an increasing recognition that Western democracies owe much to their Christian heritage gives rise to a disquieting thought. Might the secularisation of Western societies have consequences for a culture so indebted to Christianity? It is gradually dawning on perceptive commentators that democratic citizenship, even democracy itself, might be in trouble once cut free from its Christian moorings.
In Sustaining Democracy, Philip Sampson argues for the dis-establishment of a ‘secular’ religion, the opening of the public sphere to a prophetic Christian understanding of tolerance towards all religions, including that of ‘secularism’, and wonders whether the tools for renewal of Western democracy could lie in the hands of the still vibrant Church in Africa, Asia and South America.
Philip Sampson is a mediator, family court advisor and research fellow. He holds a Ph.D. in social sciences from the University of Southampton and is author of 6 Modern Myths About Christianity and Western Civilization.