‘in a modern liberal democracy, religion should neither dominate nor disappear. Gone are the days of an overbearing Establishment (Hurray! – me); equally suspect is a secular state that allows no space for the seriously religious.’ (Grace Davie, Reader in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter)

Discuss in small groups …



  1. Leaving aside the definition of ‘seriously religious’ (a minefield of it’s own), if you oppress a faction of humanity (organised or otherwise), you can make it more interesting to people than it deserves to be …you also sow the seeds of a later backlash. I am quite sure that the aggressive secularism that we have in England is down to the earlier oppression of the christian churches.

    Without the need for an oppressive regime, England has become a post-christian society and the decline will continue all the time there is no active attempt to stamp out the religion

    As a person of faith, without a religion, I run the risk of the same aggressive secularism …because I am deemed ‘guilty by association’ with religions.


    1. The comment was made in the context of reviewing books not only by Christian writers but also those of other religions. So Davie is not just talking about ‘the established church’ (which I think you mean when you talk about ‘the church’) but also active and faithful members of other religions.

      I think that it is a great mistake for Secularists in this country to assume that it is only a matter of time before faith, belief, religion, call it what you will, disappears altogether. It is an incredibly insular attitude, and completely fails to take into account the vast majority of the world where faith is a normal part of everyday life. We are wise to engage with each other, both sacred and secular, if we want to build a better world: dismissing others out of hand simply because we are not interested ourselves is simply storing up trouble for ourselves.

      I am not suggesting that you are doing this.


  2. If the word “should” comes in, I wonder who is going to enforce the said condition onto society?If it needs enforcing it won’t happen nowadays.Thank God,she cried ironically!xx


    1. Hmm! Interesting point, Kathryn. I s’pose what she’s saying is that this is the way she would like society to move, this is the principle she would like relevant decisions to be built on.



  3. True empough.

    John Main in his book ‘Moment of Christ’ says ‘religion’ means ‘re-linking’ or being ‘rebound’ to your centre.

    So without that….. chaos?

    When I had my defining conversion moment I realised with awful clarity that I was accountable. Everything we do is accountable.

    I cannot think of anything (else?) intelligent to say… so that is it πŸ˜‰


    1. to my great mortification I seem to have inadvertently invented a word! :)) EMPOUGH.:))

      😳 its because I was trying to say something intelligent.

      Anyway. True empough! I mean true enough…… 😳 I won’t mind if you edit the empough bit out and delete this…

      I’ll get my hat.


      1. I think empoo is more absurd and awful so I’ll go with empoo. It is a bit like empower but instead of empowering somebody you empoo them which is the opposite. :yes:

        Instead of disempowered, empoughed.


      1. Certainly not. You must wear an orange cap, and sit there with a big yellow banner saying ‘COME AND SIT IN MY DISCUSSION GROUP, IT IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN THE OTHERS’!! πŸ˜‰


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