‘Living with Difference’: Time for a constructive Christian engagement

We have already posted our own summary of the CORAB report and a critique of the report by Bob Morris. In this guest post, Jonathan Chaplin, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, continues the discussion.


The British Christian community is in danger of squandering an important and timely opportunity to contribute to the debate about the role of faith in the public square, a debate marred by much confusion, misunderstanding and ill-temper.[1]

The report

On 7 December, the Cambridge-based Woolf Institute’s Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life (CORAB) published Living with Difference: Community, Diversity and the Common Good, following a two-year national consultation in which hundreds of contributions were received from individuals and organisations.[2] The report proposes a ‘new settlement’ on the place of religion in public life in view of the current rapid shifts in religious allegiance and identity in British society, including the decline in membership of mainline Christian denominations and the significant growth of those who adhere to no religion and to new minority religions.[3] It argues that this growing de facto plurality of religion and belief ought to be better accommodated in the de iure institutional and constitutional status of religion and belief and reflected in public policy.[4] Continue reading