Politics, Theology, and History

Politics, Theology, and History

Politics, Theology, and History

Politics, Theology, and History


This major new book by a prominent academic and an active politician ranges widely across the disciplines of theology, political theory and philosophy. Lord Plant focuses on the role of religious belief in argument about public policy in a pluralistic society. He examines the political implications of Christian belief and its application in political debate. The book discusses the place of religious belief in the formation of policy and asks what issues in modern society might be the legitimate objects of a Christian social and political concern.


A good deal of modern political theory in recent years has been dominated by issues to do with liberalism, pluralism and the claims of community. the present book aims to be a contribution to that debate. It does, however, come to the issues in an indirect way. Most of the current literature is written in a rather abstract way and leads to conclusions of a rather general sort about the place of moral communities, such as those of religious believers, within a liberal society. This book starts in the opposite direction. It looks at the idea that religious belief, in this case Christian belief, has clear implications for the nature and organisation of society and politics, and goes on to look at how all of these ideas relate to the politics of a liberal society. It therefore tries to answer three questions:

What, if any, are the social and political implications of Christian belief?

If there are such implications, to which aspects of modern society do they relate?

What role, if any, should such beliefs play in the policies of a liberal society?

The book aims, therefore, to be part of a modern debate about the relationship between liberalism and moral and religious pluralism.

The book has had a very long period of gestation and has been through many drafts written for different audiences. I first thought about the project in the late 1980s and since then I have been fortunate enough to be asked to give various series of lectures which have allowed me to focus more clearly upon my concerns. So the present book brings together the following:

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