Social Cohesion Needs Religion – Archbishop

December 7, 2007

Author: Maria Mackay

Source: Christian Today

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has argued that religion is fundamental to maintaining social cohesion.

In a lecture delivered on Thursday at the Building Bridges Conference in Singapore, Dr Williams refuted the popular conception that a society in which different faiths exist side by side must necessarily be a divided one.

“Does disagreement about truth necessarily mean the violent disruption of social co-operation?” asked Dr Williams.

“It does not, and [...] on the contrary, a robust view of disagreement and debate between religious communities may play a major role in securing certain kinds of social unity or cohesion.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury is in Singapore for the 6th Building Bridges Christian Muslim Seminar in Singapore, which opened on Monday. The seminar has brought together more than 30 distinguished Christian and Muslim scholars to examine a number of issues of common interest including this year’s theme ‘Humanity in Context: Christian and Muslim perspectives on being human’.