It’s been fascinating to watch the debates from #occupylsx, etc. as Malcolm Gillies calls for academia to follow the churches lead in debating ethics.

Academia must follow the Church’s lead in debating ethics, says Malcolm Gillies

We love to hate the Church of England. Born dubiously amid Henry VIII’s many wives, it seems ever since to have been in search of its own justification.

In recent weeks, as the Occupy people have been camping by St Paul’s Cathedral, the press has had a field day. Canons, deans and bishops have been caught at loggerheads; Canterbury and London have been depicted as in some ideological boxing contest; and a recent survey on the website elicited comments such as “dithering”, “confused”, “foolish”, “naive” and “impotent” about the Church’s response to its Occupational dilemma.

This is a double misfortune because the Occupy people really wanted to occupy the London Stock Exchange next door. It was capitalism, not God, that they were after. But, hemmed in by the police, the nearest space they could secure was St Paul’s forecourt. Suddenly, triggered by a health and safety ruling, the cathedral itself became front-page news. And remains so.

Recent weeks suggest also why we might love the Church of England, too. Yes, the Church couldn’t make up its mind whether to evict the Occupy people or not. But why? Because, the Church honestly reflected the huge and uncertain debate in society. No, it isn’t clear what Jesus would have done.

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