Christianity and the Political Parties
This page collects together work both from KLICE and others on the relationship between Christianity and the main British political parties. Some was commissioned in the run up to elections, but with a deliberately wide historical focus, so with plenty to help readers engage with political issues, not just when deciding how to vote, but in the period between elections as well. Our contributions won't advise you how to vote but may help to think more critically about your political allegiance. Some authors belong to and support the parties they discuss, others don't.
Our major offerings include three short books published jointly with the Bible Society through the 'Christianity and British Political Parties' project in 2010. They assess the Christian contribution to the parties' traditions and proposing how Christian thought might contribute critically to the development of the parties' thinking and policy, and were written with the involvement of the Christian groups in each party: the Christian Socialist Movement (now Christians on the Left), the Conservative Christian Fellowship, and the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum.
As a follow-up, before the 2015 General Election KLICE commissioned a special series of Ethics in Brief asking the same questions, revisiting the three main parties, and adding the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru, as well as an introductory piece and one on European Christian Democracy. We also include here two essays on UKIP.
Finally we include a selection of articles written by ourselves and others relating to previous elections and the Scottish Referendum, and a section of links to relevant organisations. Inclusion on this page does not include endorsement of content.
For coverage of the recent EU Referendum, please see our separate coverage.
Christianity and British Political Parties
(main links are to downloadable PDFs, but printed copies are available for purchase)
Special Ethics in Brief 2015 Election series
- No. 1: Paul Bickley, 'The State of the Parties' - a wide-ranging overview and critical analysis of the current health of UK political parties and the challenges and opportunities thereby presented to Christian citizenship - January 2015
- No. 2: Stephen Backhouse, 'We Are All Liberals Now: Freedom and Liberalism in the Liberal Democrat Party and Beyond' - a searching investigation into the ambivalent roots of the 'liberalism' that shapes all UK parties today, and a statement of a robust Christian foundation for true liberty - January 2015
- No. 3: Joshua Hordern, 'Christianity and conservatism: trust, civil society, enterprise and internationalism' - a novel theological reading of the conservative political tradition in which these four notions are presented as 'arteries of the conservative heart' - February 2015
- No. 4: Doug Gay, 'The Scottish National Party in Theological Perspective' - an outline of the distinctive history and evolution of the SNP and an explanation of why it might be theologically plausible to support its claims - February 2015
- No. 5: Rhys Llwyd, 'Plaid Cymru, Welsh Nationalism and Christianity - a historical perspective' - despite contemporary Wales being relatively secular, the Welsh historically saw their faith, language and national identity as intertwined, and this legacy is reflected in Plaid Cymru today - March 2015
- No. 6: Tim Cooper and Colin Bell, 'A Greener Faith: Christianity and the Green Party' - a reflection on the historical and philosophical factors influencing the Green Party and a discussion of what common interests it and the Christian Church might have - March 2015.
- No. 7: Nick Townsend, 'Blue Labour + Red Tory = Christian Democracy?' - a description of the continental European political movement Christian Democracy including why British scepticism towards it is ill-judged and some parallels in two recent trends in domestic politics - April 2015
- No. 8: Paul Bickley, 'Old, New, Borrowed and Blue - Christian Socialism and the Labour Tradition' - a survey of secular and Christian influences in the formation and development of the Labour party.
- UKIP was not included in the series: here are two other publications about the party:
Party and cross-party groups
Christians in Parliament - an All Party Parliamentary Group
Christians in Politics - an all-party, non-denominational platform
Christians on the Left
Conservative Christian Fellowship
Liberal Democrat Christian Forum
2015 General Election
KLICE Election Comment pieces
Other election statements and websites
Books and articles
- Jubilee Centre, Votewise 2015 - and a 'General Election Bible Study' based on it, by Anthony Smith.
- Citizens UK, Manifesto 2015.
- Evangelical Alliance, Let's commit to engaging relationally with politics, 8 May 2015.
- Gillan Scott on Archbishop Cranmer, 'Green Party: Christians welcome, but only if you ignore your faith', 24 March 2015.
- Angus Ritchie, 'What do the Bishops know about politics? More than you'd think...', Huffington Post 18 February 2015.
- Baroness Maeve Sherlock and Rt Hon and Caroline Spelman MP, Fulcrum Pivot Point lectures on 'Engaging in Politics', Fulcrum website 11 February 2015.
- Archbishop Cranmer, '"Tory Fury" over Church of England letter is a confected Tory tantrum' (18 February 2015) - and subsequent posts on the Bishop's Letter
- Gillan Scott on Archbishop Cranmer, 'This General Election is bringing in a new level of Christian engagement' (8 February 2015)
- Archbishop Cranmer, 'If imams may not influence voters, why should priests or bishops?' (5 February 2015)
2014 Scottish Referendum
1. Ethics in Brief March 2017 - Ancient Laws for New Challenges: The Ten Commandments as a Critique of Inequality Mark Glanville
2. KLICE Comment March 2017 - Illiberal Liberals?
3. KLICE News March 2017.
4. KLICE award-holder and Research Associate organising conference at Aberdeen University on 'Joy and Prosperity'
5. Report of CORAB symposium available.