Faith is no foe of freethinking 4

March 23, 2007

I am sure readers will be bothered about the possibility of lack of freedom of speech at Chester and Canterbury Christ Church universities. It is an inquisition-type scenario whereby when it suits the authorities will pounce. This is not a healthy atmosphere to work in, so the quicker it is resolved the better - good intentions of the authorities aside.

I cannot see what the Anglican Church should be worried about. I read a pamphlet in the Bodleian Library from around 1890 that argued that the Church of England was a broad church that encompassed the whole country, including atheists. This is undoubtedly going too far, but is there not a type of Socratic pain-pleasure cycle equivalent whereby the significant history of atheism/humanism sheds light on the history of Christianity?

Gerald Vinten
Professor emeritus
Southampton Business School

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