Archbishop of Canterbury reexamines the state of the nation in new book

16 February 2018

Richard Watt/Church Times

THE UK is at a political and moral tipping-point, the Archbishop of Canterbury argues in a new book, to be published next month.

His book, Reimagining Britain: Foundations of hope will be published by Bloomsbury on 8 March. Archbishop Welby said last week that he had written to contribute to the debate on the future of the country, particularly after Brexit.

In an interview with the Church Times, the Archbishop said: “I think we’re at one of those moments which happens probably every three or four generations, when we have the opportunity and the necessity to reimagine what our society should look like in this country.”

In his book, Archbishop Welby proposes that Christianity has a vital part to play in the reimagining of society, and could be the driving force behind change. It remains, he says, foundational to ethics and values in the UK.

Archbishop Welby’s earlier book, Dethroning Mammon, examines the ethics and practices of the financial markets (Books, 3 February 2017). In the forthcoming work, he ranges wider, looking at possible reforms in the areas of housing, healthcare, and education. He looks at the environment and climate change, and also immigration and integration.

Speaking last week, he said that the book asked the question: “What kind of society fills our lives with hope and purpose, and what do we base that in?”

The book’s subtitle, Foundations of hope, was crucial to his argument, as he believed that the country needs a debate “about what our dream is, to have a hope-filled future for the next years”.

The country needed to recreate the “extraordinary outpouring of change and reform” that it experienced under the consensus of the post-war Labour and Conservative governments, which, he said, was as a “result of Keynes’s rethinking of economics”.

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