The Obama Doctrine and Civil Spirituality

Barak Obama Hope

During the early years of the 21st century Labour government in the UK, Alistair Campbell (the spin doctor for Prime Minister Tony Blair) famously told a journalist, ‘We don’t do God…’ (in spite of the fact that Tony Blair clearly did ‘do God). Cross the Atlantic to the USA and, in spite of the separation of church and state, no candidate has a hope of being elected to the Presidency unless she/he [usually ‘he’] publicly proclaims their religious faith (even better if they used the term ‘born again’!).

With that in mind President Barack Obama’s development of what might be termed ‘civil spirituality’ is an intriguing development. Obama is a Christian but seemingly not of the George W Bush variety and was a community organizer in the mid 1980s in the faith-based Gamaliel Faoundation. So what is ‘civil spirituality’? A post-secular religious discourse? A pragmatic community organizer’s attempt to engage with all faiths and none? Something else? Have a read of ‘The Obama Doctrine’ by Diane Butler Bass and you decide….

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Silencing Theological Debate

learning1

Teaching theology and religion in a university context  is all about exploration, empathy and raising questions about the role of faith in the 21st century….This article from an anonymous lecturer in a UK University raises worrying questions about free thinking, education and theology. The original article was in The Guardian newspaper on 8th February 2014….

‘I’m a senior academic in a religion department at a Russell Group university. Before you ask, no, we’re not training would-be vicars. And no, we’re not in the business of promoting particular faiths. In fact, I’m an atheist (always have been), and my motivating “belief” as an academic is that the secular study of religions is a crucial activity in any university……’

Find out more….‘Teaching Religion – My Students Are Trying To Run My Course’