1st Edition

British Foreign Policy and the Anglican Church Christian Engagement with the Contemporary World

By Timothy Blewett, Adrian Hyde-Price Copyright 2008

    Whilst the views of leaders within the Church of England are frequently canvassed during periods of national crisis, little attention has been devoted to finding out whether there are Church perspectives on contemporary foreign policy issues. The Church of England has not been regarded as an actor with a strong input into international affairs, preferring to speak out on domestic and individual issues. Yet world politics present fundamental ethical dilemmas which call for careful deliberation and the Church has a role to play both in shaping the debate and arguing for particular policy directions. To what extent is national policy shaped by underlying Christian values. Do the campaigning efforts of faith groups really exert influence and guide the development of state policy? This book seeks to elucidate whether there are particular Christian perspectives on the role that Great Britain should play in the world today. It investigates the role that the Church of England has played in contemporary foreign policy issues: including the use of force - intervention, counter-terrorism and arms sales - and overseas trade, aid and debt forgiveness. The book brings together senior individuals from within the Church, academia and non-governmental organisations to investigate these various ethical dilemmas.

    Contents: Part 1 The Ethical Context: Introduction, Tim Blewett; Christian ethics and the dilemmas of foreign policy, Adrian Hyde-Price. Part 2 The Military Instrument: The continuing, crucial relevance of just war criteria, Richard Harries; Balance of consequences: towards an ethical standpoint on the Iraq intervention of 2003, Richard Bonney; 3 parables about war, Charles Jones; British military intervention since 1990, Tim Cross; The Church and the war on terror, Richard Lock-Pullan; UK arms sales and the Church of England, Wyn Rees. Part 3 Britain and the Less Developed World: Waiting for jubilee: the campaign for debt cancellation, Timothy Jones; The challenge of aid, Fletcher Tembo; Index.


    Revd Timothy Blewett is Director of Launde Abbey, UK. Adrian Hyde-Price is Professor of International Relations in the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, University of Bath, UK. Wyn Rees is Professor of International Security in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, UK.

    'May I warmly commend to you this book, bringing together academics, leading members of the Church, politicians and the military. At a time when our foreign policy is rightly scrutinized by many within our society, this book shows that it is through our foreign policy that we express the values that we have in our country. I am very grateful to those who have compiled this book and allowed others to continue the debate on the Church's involvement in issues of war, ethics in foreign policy, the arms trade, and issues of aid and trade.' The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, UK