Edited by Matthew Clarke
Chapter 29: FBOs in Tanzania
In October 2011, protestors campaigning against the extremes of capitalism highlighted by the Global Financial Crisis that began in 2007, camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Invited to stay by the Dean, their presence quickly stirred up a public and surprisingly angry debate about the role of the church in society, a debate that culminated in the resignation of the Dean and the Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s. At the heart of the issue was the role the church and its representatives should play in responding to the major social, political and economic issues of the day. Should it be a neutral observer, concentrating on the private soul, or take an active part in the body politic? And if it was to enter public debate, where was such an entrance most appropriate: in defence of the establishment, of law and order, of the financial world in whose epicentre St Paul’s Cathedral sits? Or, living up to its symbolic role in Britain having survived as the bombing of the blitz destroyed all around it, speak for the rights of protestors and freedoms to protest? Whilst in the UK this debate sharpened the rhetorical vitriol on all sides, for outside observers this was perhaps a strange argument to be having in the second decade of the twentieth century.
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