A Critical Revisiting of the Balliol Connection of Temple, Tawney and Beveridge for the 21st Century
80 years ago, the Beveridge Report set out the ideas which we associate with the Welfare State. Also in 1942, Archbishop William Temple had published his Christianity & Social Order, with a similar manifesto in an appendix. 40 years earlier, Beveridge and Temple had been undergraduates at Balliol, together with R H Tawney, before each lived and worked in Toynbee Hall in London. Each was influenced by the Master, Edward Caird, who was himself associated with the Idealist philosophy of Balliol’s T H Green. Beveridge and Temple were writing, of course, in wartime. As our age grapples with Russia’s war in Ukraine, with the after-effects of the pandemic, with the environmental and cost of living crises, with multiple challenges around equality, diversity and inclusion, and with the breakdown of trust in political leaders, Balliol and the William Temple Foundation are holding a symposium for the 80th anniversary of these publications by William Beveridge and William Temple on The Influence of Idealism & Ideas: did the Balliol ethos of the Victorian and Edwardian eras make a difference to UK society after the Second World War; are there lessons for the 21st century?
10.00 Welcomes and Introduction – Chris Baker (William Temple Foundation and Goldsmiths, University of London)
Panel 1: From Idealism to Realism – The philosophical roots of Welfare State
10.15 Simon Skinner (Balliol, Oxford)
10.45 Stephen Spencer (Anglican Communion Office)
11.15 – 11.45 Coffee
Panel 2: The Welfare State in Context – Historical and Policy Perspectives
11.45 – 12.15 Matthew Grimley (Merton, Oxford)
12.15 – 12.45 Lawrence Goldman (St Peter’s, Oxford)
12.45 – 13.45 Lunch
Panel 3: The State we are in: Contemporary reflections on the Balliol legacy
13.45 – 14.45
Panel response and Q & A : 10 minutes each and 20 mins plenary
14.45 – 15.05
Pulling the Threads together – themes and trajectories
Professor Chris Baker (Goldsmiths, University of London and William Temple Foundation)
15.15 – 15.30 Tea and Depart
Religious Engagement and the Temple Tradition in Post-Pandemic Britain
15 December 2022
A Conference Hosted by William Temple Foundation, Liverpool Hope University, and Blackburn Cathedral
This conference aims to examine the legacy of William Temple for inter-religious engagement in the public square after the pandemic in Britain. It builds on the William Temple Foundation conference in March 2022 which was held at Canterbury Cathedral to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the publication of Temple’s Christianity and the Social Order. The conference at Canterbury spoke of the Temple tradition as based on various principles; central to these are the following:
Professor Chris Baker set out the social principles of the public space for Temple as based on ‘freedom, fellowship and service’ and Temple’s understanding of the welfare state which engages what he called ‘the intermediate groupings’. These intermediate groupings are free before the law and work towards a chosen goal to shape their own rationale of fellowship and service for the common good. The welfare state facilitates the flourishing of these local groupings who, in turn, play an intermediate role between individual citizens and the state.
The Blackburn conference will engage with Temple’s legacy of religious engagement in the public square in two ways. First, the historical legacy of Temple’s concern for Jewish Christian dialogue emerging out of the pastoral and ethical imperatives of the Holocaust in World War Two and its shaping of Jewish-Christian relations today. Second, given the local context of Blackburn and the wider East Lancashire, the conference will also focus on the potential legacy of Temple’s religious engagement for Christian-Muslim relationships in today’s pluralised and post-secular context. The questions that will therefore follow from these two points will bring different disciplines in the academy in conversation with local faith leaders and focus on the following:
09.00-09.30 Registration Arrival/Coffee
Introduction and Panel 1
11.00-11.15: Coffee Break
Panel 2: The Post Secular and models of faith communities’ engagement today – with reference to Temple.
Panel 3: 12.15-13.00: A panel of Muslim and Christian community leaders from Blackburn diocese to join Panel 2 speakers and respond to a set of questions that were shared with them prior to the meeting reflecting on the various themes discussed earlier.
Panel 4: Current research on faith in the public square – Muslim engagement with the state in Blackburn and beyond
Panel 5: Closing Panel with keynote reflective speakers
Optional closing visit and tour to the Cathedral followed by Choral Evensong
9.30am – 5.30pm | Saturday 12th March 2022 | Canterbury Lodge, Canterbury Cathedral
The conference will examine the historical and continuing significance of William Temple’s 1942 Christianity and Social Order on the 80th anniversary of its publication. This short work was a key text in the development of the welfare state and Christian social ethics. The conference will seek to examine a series of new themes and issues in relation to Temple’s influential 1942 work and explore its lasting influence. Papers will explore the history and context of the work and new critical themes, such as gender, environment, race and public policy today.
Speakers include: Kenneth Fincham, Simon Lee, Elaine Graham, Jeremy Carrette, Robin Gill, Sanjee Perera, Chris Baker and Stephen Spencer.
This event is jointly organised by the Centre for Anglican History & Theology, University of Kent, and the William Temple Foundation.