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On the Public Discourse of Religion: An Analysis of Christianity in the United Kingdom

  • Steve Kettell (a1)

Debates over the involvement of religion in the public sphere look set to be one of the defining themes of the 21st century. But while religious issues have attracted a large degree of scholarly attention, the public discourse of religion itself, in terms of the effort to assert and legitimize a role for faith in the public realm, has remained notably under-researched. This article marks an initial step to address this deficiency by deconstructing the public discourse of Christianity in the United Kingdom. It argues that, while appealing for representation on the grounds of liberal equality, the overall goal of this discourse is to establish a role for itself as a principal source of moral authority, and to exempt itself from the evidentially-based standards and criteria that govern public life.

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Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Steve Kettell, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom. E-mail:
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