Seeking the Common Good

The common good is a powerful ideal and aspiration; we often invoke it, pray for it, and hope to contribute to it. But what do we actually mean by the term - especially in a world that is diverse and complex, with many different communities and identities? In this series of podcast conversations, Professor Sarah Mortimer and her guests explore different approaches to the common good and discuss how we can strengthen it, even when there is disagreement. We look too at the ways in which churches and faith perspectives both help and hinder us in finding the common good.

These podcasts follow from a discussion series held over Zoom in Hilary Term 2021. Look out for more podcasts over the coming months.

In our first podcast, Professor Sarah Mortimer is joined by Dr Mariëtta van der Tol, a constitutional theorist and Alfred Landecker postdoctoral fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government. She was also recently Licensed as a Lay Minister in the Church of England. In this podcast we talk about approaching the 'common good' through a genuine conversation about the kind of society we want to live in, and we discuss why it’s so important to include all members of society in that conversation.



In our second podcast on ‘Reconciliation and the Common Good’, Professor Sarah Mortimer interviews Matthew Murphy, a recent history graduate and now an intern to the Bishop of Coventry. Coventry Cathedral has had a powerful ministry of reconciliation since the end of the Second World War and Matthew explains why this is still important today. We discuss the ways in which practices of reconciliation can contribute to a broader understanding of the common good, and the role of Christianity in this.

The Common Good is an ideal we appeal to as citizens, but what does it mean in a distinctively public and political space, a space guaranteed by laws and even by force if necessary?  Is there a way of thinking about the common good as a political concept, and how might Christians be involved in this?  In this podcast, Sarah Mortimer is joined by Paul Billingham, Associate Professor of Political Theory at Oxford, to discuss the Common Good in our political and religious life.