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Posted by on Dec 19, 2008 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

CFI event at Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

I have arranged for CFI to put on three events at the Oxford Literary festival – two adult events and one for kids.

The biggest event is a debate between myself and Prof. Roger Trigg on Secularism. Friday April 3rd 2pm in the Great Hall at Christchurch. Tickets from Oxford Literary Festival.

Is Britain too secular now?

Is it right that British society be explicitly founded on Christian values? Is there something special about religion – and particularly the Christian religion – that justifies giving it a special, privileged role within our society? Should the state fund faith schools?

Philosopher Professor Roger Trigg believes secularization now threatens the fabric of British society. He defends the view that our freedoms are rooted in a Christian tradition and that, unless our Christian heritage is explicitly acknowledged and valued by the State, those freedoms may be at risk.

Philosopher Stephen Law argues that there is nothing about religious beliefs that justifies giving them such special treatment, and that it’s high time we kicked the church out of our state.

Roger Trigg is the author of Religion in Public Life: Must Religion be Privatized? He is also Senior Research Fellow at The Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick and a former President of the Mind Association and of the British Society for Philosophy of Religion.

Stephen Law is the author of The War For Children’s Minds (which is critical of many faith schools). He is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy Heythrop College University of London, editor of THINK (journal of Royal Institute of Philosophy) and Provost of The Centre for Inquiry London.

Format 10-15 mins presentation by each speaker followed by 30 minutes of QandA.


  1. Sounds interesting. I hope you will make the point that not just Christianity, but any religion, is socially divisive – not cohesive. Each sect strives to proclaim its ‘correctness’ and impose this on everyone else. If you look at the 16th and 17th centuries – from the Reformation to the Civil Wars – religious disputes played a thoroughly malign part in setting people against one another. They squabbled endlessly about their respective concepts of God and the proper way to worship Him, with endless persecutions, killings, and finally civil war.What was it all about? practically everything these people believed was in fact nonsense.

  2. Should we go back to religious tests for students to study at Oxford and Cambridge?Or did Christian values meant that it was those freedom-loving Christians who campaigned against those horrible secular pagans who were imposing religious tests on students for Oxbridge?And, freedom-loving Christians worked for years against the creeping secularization of Parliament, where secularists had introduced religious tests for people who wanted to be Members of Parliament.Hoorah for freedom-loving Christians who destroyed all these religious tests and restriction that secularists had imposed on British life!

  3. I myself would welcome a return of the Test Acts.

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