Introduction from the Chair (Sir Philip Mawer)
In April 2010, in the wake of the Financial Crisis and with the prospect of a General Election, the Archbishop of York invited a group of academics and practitioners to come together to take stock, not only of the policies by which our society and our economy should be governed, but also of the underlying values and principles of which that society and economy are an expression.
The group comprises economists, financiers, social scientists and theologians who are engaged in an open discussion on these issues. In the wake of what has happened in our economy and society in recent years, contributors share a commitment to finding a dynamic and accessible language through which to pursue the Christian understanding of ‘the common good’ in a way that will deliver actionable ideas, integrating theological insights with public policy.
Six months later, participants gathered again to look at the impact of a new Government and its recent Comprehensive Spending Review, and to consider how the values of global justice, mutual responsibility, and hope for the future could to be nurtured in the present context. With the prospect of the cuts to public services arising from the Government’s deficit reduction measures, we were particularly concerned to pay heed to the impact these would have upon those most vulnerable in our society.
As we concluded our latest gathering, we agreed that it might prove useful to publish the papers presented to the Symposium as a contribution to the ongoing national debate. They are offered as the views of their authors, not of the group as a whole. Taken together, however, they are evidence of the firm belief of the Archbishop of York and of all who participated in the Symposium in the need to re-articulate in today’s circumstances how the moral order should be reflected in the compact underpinning our society, and in the important contribution which Christian thinkers and practitioners can make to that pressing task.
Sir Philip Mawer – Chair of the Archbishop of York’s Symposium
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