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The Global Public Square
Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
By Os Guinness
About the Book
How do we live with our deepest differences?
In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion's place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully?
Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul—the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular he calls for leadership that has the courage to act on behalf of the common good.
Far from utopian, this constructive vision charts a course for the future of the world. Soul freedom is not only a shining ideal but a dire necessity and an eminently practical solution to the predicaments of our time. We can indeed maximize freedom and justice and learn to negotiate deep differences in public life. For a world desperate for hope at a critical juncture of human history, here is a way forward, for the good of all.
About the Author
Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is a prolific writer and social critic. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth, The Call, A Free People's Suicide and The Case for Civility. Previously, Os was a freelance reporter with the BBC, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow
Wilson Center for International Studies.
From 1986 to 1989, Os served as executive director of The Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment. In this position he helped to draft The Williamsburg Charter, which was signed by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Chief Justices William Rehnquist and Warren Burger, Coretta Scott King, Elie Wiesel, several members of Congress and many others.
A prominent social critic, Os is the founder of the Trinity Forum and was senior fellow there until 2004, conducting seminars for leaders around the world and publishing seven major curricula. He has been a frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in both Europe and the United States, and has addressed audiences from the British House of Commons to the U.S. Congress. He has also been the subject of numerous
media interviews, appearing on programs such as C-SPAN's "Booknotes." His countless addresses at leading universities worldwide have helped to influence an entire generation of thinkers.
Os lives with his wife, Jenny, near Washington, D.C.