Whether we live in a post-Christian or post-religious age is open to debate. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams has spoken of Britain as ‘quite strongly Christian’ and David Cameron wrote last year of the value of faith-based organisations in making a difference to people’s lives.
This somewhat academic, but very accessible, book examines the historical context of Magna Carta. It contains essays by eminent writers from a number of different backgrounds – not only Christian. The place of religion in society is always in question.
The book rightly emphases the influence it had far beyond the common law jurisdictions. It is amazing that a document prepared for a very specific purpose has had so much impact on societies very different from those that existed in the century in which it was written.
Authors: Robin Griffith-Jones, Mark Hill QC
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, £25
The case is made out that freedom of one religion can lead to freedom of religion in general, and the principle of authority being measured against an external set of principles is not new.
At £25 this is remarkably good value for such a work of scholarship. Whatever your attitude to the link between religion and the law, this is a thought-provoking and varied book.
David Pickup is a solicitor at Pickup and Scott in Aylesbury