The work of Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford from 1987 to 2006, has been highly distinctive for the consistency of its engagement with contemporary society. It represents a model of the Church which is outward-looking, a Church which is as ready to learn from others as it is to offer its own wisdom and resources. This book reflects on Richard Harries' ministry in the 'borderlands' of society and Church, and engages deeply with the nature of modern society and the place of the Church within it. Taking Richard Harries' contributions as their inspiration, key figures, each of them major commentators on areas of pressing contemporary concern, probe the important questions which people are asking about a range of social issues. Arms and violence, the role of the media in public life, spirituality, multifaith Britain, sex, capitalism, the second chamber, and medical ethics are all discussed, building up a serious debate on the kind of society in which we live and making suggestive comments about the part which the Church might play. Contributors: Sabina Alkire, Michael Bourke, Melvyn Bragg, John Drury, Claire Foster, Jonathan Gorsky, Anthony Howard, Douglas Hurd, Eric James, Julia Neuberger, Edmund Newell, Christopher Rowland, Jane Shaw, Margaret Shepherd, Roger Wagner, Keith Ward, Rowan Williams, Shirley Williams and James Woodward.
Contents: Preface. Part One Introduction: Richard: the person and the bishop, James Woodward; Richard Harries and the issues of our time, Julia Neuberger; Only connect, Eric James. Part Two Engaging with Issues: Arms and justice, Christopher Rowland; The media and the Church, Melvyn Bragg; Contemporary spirituality and Christian doctrine, Keith Ward; Multicultural Britain and interfaith dialogue, Margaret Shepherd and Jonathan Gorsky; Sex and the Church of England, Jane Shaw; Capitalism and the Gospel for the rich, Edmund Newell and Sabina Alkire; Art and faith, Roger Wagner; Poetry and truth, John Drury; The House of Lords and religion, Douglas Hurd; Christian medical ethics, Claire Foster. Part Three Public Life and the Place of the Church: A dialogue, Shirley Williams, Michael Bourke and Anthony Howard; The health of the spirit, Rowan Williams. Bibliography of Richard Harries's publications to 2004, compiled by Michael Brierley; Index.