Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Have we lost our national nerve?'

Read the Archbishop of Canterbury's second of three Holy Week lectures on British values, delivered at Canterbury Cathedral last night.

Pope Benedict XVI said: "A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life -- structures, institutions, culture and ethos -- without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment."

Values are not found in isolation, but by interaction with practices by institutions and individuals. Good values feed good practices and the evidence of good practice builds good values. They're in an iterative relationship. Certainly within the UK the strength of values has been recognised pragmatically. And in fact there's a lot of talk about values at the moment - one of the things that stimulated me to speak on this. Simply to state them, however often and however clearly, as being, for example, those put forward by OFSTED - democracy, the rule of law, and respect or tolerance of other faiths and traditions - does not make them British values. To become British values they need British actors, who play them with such conviction and effect that they become what they claim. We will look at the actors tomorrow.

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Tags: Archbishop of Canterbury, Holy Week lecture

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