chapter  14
10 Pages

Polar opposites? Diversity and dialogue among the religious and non-religious


Over the course of his premiership, David Cameron several times described Britain as a Christian country.1 His claims were widely discussed – supported in some quarters, dismissed in others, and sometimes condemned amid concerns about exclusion and discrimination experienced by vulnerable non-Christian groups. Statements like these lend themselves to debate because they are often equivocal, phrased defensively (Britain is ‘still a Christian country’) or in an attempt to mobilise Christians in some way (‘As a Christian country, we must remember what [Jesus Christ’s] birth represents’) – and therefore suggesting not so much that Christianity is a robust and powerful force in the UK today as that it is on a low ebb. Thus, these comments and the discussions they provoke leave the somewhat confused sense that British culture is perhaps not as Christian as it might, or, in Cameron’s view perhaps, ought to be.