Life & Faith: The Evolution of the West

How Christianity’s influence on the West has been both better and worse than you ever imagined.

In 2017, the Centre for Public Christianity will release a documentary, For the Love of God: How the Church Is Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined. It takes a deep dive into the history of Christianity in the West, and unpacks its influence on our society and culture.

Some of the key ideas the documentary will explore include the development of human rights, and why we often find Christians at the heart of social justice work such as feeding the hungry and alleviating poverty. But we’ll also explore some of the ways the Church has abused its power and failed to uphold justice, show mercy or give hope – the very things it is called to do.

This month on Life & Faith, we’ll be showcasing interviews from some of the international experts we’ve been speaking with for the documentary. Each week will examine one theme – the Crusades, women’s rights, slavery – but first, we want to offer a sweeping, bird’s-eye view of the role Christianity has played in creating the world we live in today.

In this episode, we feature an interview with Nick Spencer, Research Director of Theos think tank in London and author of The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values. He says:

“[Christianity] hasn’t always been used on the side of the political or the cultural or the economic angels, but … to think you can understand our idea of right, democracy, human dignity, the scientific revolution, even the welfare state without understanding Christianity – you’re making a big mistake.”

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