Seeking the Common Good

Professor Sarah Mortimer

The ‘common good’ is a powerful and evocative phrase, drawing us towards those aims and ideals that we share together. We hear politicians and leaders invoke it – and we often pray for it in church. But what the common good might mean is far from straightforward, especially when we know that all human beings are unique and there are many different ideas of what is good and fulfilling. Given this complexity and diversity, how do we find what is common, how can we come to agreement on things that matter to us, but without sacrificing our individuality? And what role can churches play in helping – or hindering – the search for the common good? 

This term we will be exploring these issues in a series of podcasts and discussions, starting this Wednesday at 8pm on Zoom and continuing on 24 February and 10 March. This week, I will be joined by Mariëtta van der Tol, who is 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.  To start the series off, Mariëtta and I have recorded a short podcast. In it 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. You can listen to the podcast at the link below and we look forward to talking more about these issues with you on Wednesday.