Ian Linden

Visiting Professor at St. Mary's University, London

Educated Grammar school, Cambridge. Academic career Ahmadu Bello University, University of Malawi, Hamburg University, Sundry Journalism. Southern Africa desk CIIR (Catholic Institute of International Relations), 1980-1986 Director CIIR 1986-2001 Associate Proessor SOAS 2001-2008 Senior Adviser Tony Blair Faith Foundation 2008-2016. Visiting Professor St. Mary's University London. Author of Global Catholicism Hurst. A New Map of theWorld DLT Christianisme et Pouvoirs Karthala. CMG New Years Honours list for 2000 (work for HumanRights) HonoraryDegree Southampton University. Consultancy work with DfID. Member of the Christian-Muslim Forum
The Vatican And The European

The Vatican And The European Union

Pope Francis closed the conference with a wide-ranging allocution that placed the human person at the heart of Europe and gave a characteristically clear, compassionate and understandable account of the moral issues involved in migration. Sadly, it seemed or the moment a beautiful vision beyond contemporary creativity, political will or grasp.
01/11/2017 16:50 GMT
Springtime for

Springtime for Populism

Liberal democracy in the UK is not in good shape. Fears that our once triumphalist political culture is now falling apart are suppressed. "Uncertainty" serves as stop-gap euphemism for deeper disquiet. There is talk of new opportunities and proud self-determination, much patriotic bravura. But minorities suffer abuse, violence and even murdered, and there are portents of worse to come.
12/09/2016 08:35 BST
One Night in

One Night in Turkey

What now? Is it too much to hope that Erdogan will stop and reflect and change course domestically. Sadly the coup came exactly after he had done a u-turn on foreign policy towards Russia and Egypt, though not on the renewal of the war against Kurdish armed nationalists. So it is most unlikely. It will legitimate more authoritarianism. Nor will our new Foreign Secretary, having insulted the man for trivial reasons, be able to make the slightest difference or influence him.
18/07/2016 16:08 BST
From Curveball to

From Curveball to Chilcot

The purpose of the Chilcot enquiry into the Iraq War was to find lessons for the future from the mistakes of the past. It found plenty of mistakes but few lessons. But, at least, it has provided a degree of closure for families bereaved by the war.
11/07/2016 12:41 BST
Christian Responsibility for

Christian Responsibility for BREXIT

The Prime Minister in his resignation speech presented the referendum as a matter of pride in our British democracy. It is a matter of shame.
27/06/2016 11:25 BST
Ten Propositions About Religious

Ten Propositions About Religious Extremism

In the grim light of recent events, I would like to put forward ten propositions about religious extremism. These are not for nailing to mosque, or indeed, church, doors but in pursuit of clarity and maybe constructive disagreement.
31/07/2015 13:49 BST
Kosovo's Road to

Kosovo's Road to Multiculturalism

In the centre of Prishtina, Kosovo's main city, there is a wide pedestrian boulevard parallel with the bustling lines of cars on Agim Ramadani street, where people promenade. It has the languor of a small Mediterranean town on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It is lined this time of year with strawberries piled high.
11/06/2015 11:06 BST
On Secular

On Secular Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism jumps barriers like a virus. It is as if religious fundamentalism is transmitted to the secular ideology of the State. Think laïcité in France today. Or, in a different dynamic, try Fox News and Tea-Party Republicanism.
24/04/2015 10:21 BST
What Does Prevent

What Does Prevent Prevent?

What is often lumped together as Wahabi, Salafi, or Islamist ideas, does not necessarily lead to violence, any more than conversion to Islam provides access to a suicide belt, or Mediaeval Christianity necessarily invented plenary indulgences - a get out of Purgatory free card - for Crusaders. Though, again, converts who become jihadists are far from unknown.
01/04/2015 18:08 BST
Reconciliation Beyond the Religious

Reconciliation Beyond the Religious Closet

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a powerfully built white man barreling up the side aisle. I tensed. The bodyguard spotted him too but didn't flicker.
18/03/2015 10:22 GMT
British Values and

British Values and Politics

Indeed it is precisely religious promotion of justice and the common good in the public square, deemed out-of-order, by the tabloids, that was once the intellectual meat of politics.
20/02/2015 17:09 GMT
Us and Them in

Us and Them in Nigeria

Solidarities grounded in ethnicity and faith do not always win over other criteria: who might prove less corrupt, who might distribute oil wealth more widely, even to the poor, who might perform the minimal requirement of a functioning state, the provision of security to its citizens?
11/02/2015 17:14 GMT
Ex-Ex Cathedra Statements on

Ex-Ex Cathedra Statements on Relativism

The former pope Benedict emerged recently from retirement to express his anxieties about relativism. This had been the theme of several <em>ex cathedra</em> warnings during his pontificate. The connection this time with inter-religious dialogue is explicit.
02/12/2014 10:14 GMT
Loyalty and Disavowal: Al-Wala

Loyalty and Disavowal: Al-Wala Wal-Bara

Half the foreign jihadists in Syria and Iraq come from Islamic cultures: Tunisia, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. The governments that they reject face a big problem. But the lure of the so-called Caliphate in Syria and Iraq for some young people in Europe is rightly considered a security problem for us...
05/11/2014 15:06 GMT
Religion, Globalisation and

Religion, Globalisation and Modernity

Modernity equates to a secular view of the world. Religion will slowly wither away. Globalisation is a new force in the world, spreading modernity, finally spelling religion's death-knoll. Well, no. A popular view but popular views are sometimes wrong. The obituary of God has been written many times.
28/10/2014 15:31 GMT
Times that Try Men's

Times that Try Men's Souls

We are in the midst of a geopolitical crisis in Africa and the Middle East. It is acutely felt by communities of faith who suffer a new barbarism as they watch their hallowed values drowned in blood. But it is no less a crisis for international commitments to human rights.
05/09/2014 15:20 BST