Christian and Muslims in Public Life
From social cohesion, through education, to law and marriage, Christians and Muslims have distinct perspectives on our shared public life. This project seeks to outline the breadth of responses and ideas within the two faith communities.
To date the following topics have been explored. Each button links to papers, responses and resources on these crucial topics:
Both Christians and Muslims are concerned about issues in aspects of public life, particularly where their faith engenders a distinctive approach, for example, education, law, social integration, political representation, the economy, government policies and so on. However, voices across the breadth of society are becoming increasingly polarised and, in an age of sound bites and social media echo chambers, nuanced discussion and considered opinion forming are becoming increasingly difficult.
This project aims to inform and resource Christian and Muslim opinion formation on key topics of current interest. The project aspires to academic rigour, applicability and yet non-specialist accessibility. It does so by running workshops, commissioning articles, building bibliographies and linking to research on the relevant issues. In particular, the project looks at responses to landmark reports and events in different fields. Whilst in the early stages the emphasis has been on Christian responses, the intention is to broaden out and include more Muslim responses in the future.
The project has an emphasis on those across both communities who consider their faith to be pivotal in some way and who are frustrated with political correctness and an emphasis on reductionist commonality.
The aims of the research are to:
- improve the quality of discussion about important topics of interest to Christians and Muslims in public life;
- provide resources that will inform the discussion;
- enable Christians, Muslims and others to do the thinking required to develop good policies with respect to these topics in the arenas of faith leadership, education, public policy, media and government; and
- include a diverse range of voices in the discussion not normally heard in interfaith conversation.
The expected audience includes:
- Christians – Christians and Christian leaders who want to grapple with the complexity and diversity of Christian and Muslim responses on topics of national importance.
- Muslims – Muslims and Muslim leaders who, similarly, want to grapple with the complexity and diversity of Muslim and Christian responses on such topics.
- Policy makers – those in public life who want to seriously engage with faith thinking on key issues.
- Media – journalists interested in understanding the diversity of thinking within Christian and Muslim communities.
The underlying ethos of the project is based on a mutuality which recognises the realities of socio-cultural diversity and the plurality of religious communities in Britain today, yet which understands that both communities will believe that they have important truths which are neither relative nor inconsequential to the public debate. In presenting a broad range of opinion and responses from differing perspectives, CMCS is neither supporting, condoning or passing judgement on any particular position, although it does seek to provide clear editorial comment to help the reader navigate issues and views which are often confusing.
Dr Richard McCallum: a senior fellow at CMCS
Jill Dhell: a civil servant for much of her career, Jill supports strategy development in Christian-Muslim relations as a freelance consultant. In addition, she is closely involved with the Christian Muslim Forum.
Funding Our Research
Our research projects are central to the work we do at CMCS, as they inform our teaching and public education work. Research is often funded by large organisations, but - as with any academic institution - we sometimes struggle to fund all of the research we would like to carry out.
If you believe in bringing Muslims and Christians together to promote integrity and build understanding through teaching, research and public education, please consider making a donation to help us fund our research at the Centre.