Os Guinness & the call to engage in the public square



In just under three weeks’ time, the Show Up Weekend will be underway, providing a valuable opportunity to get to grips with engaging with politics and public life from a Christian perspective. One of the speakers who we are very privileged to have with us is leading author and social critic Os Guinness.

Directly descended from the famous Irish brewer Arthur Guinness, Os has had the opportunity to experience a variety of different cultures and political regimes first-hand. Born to medical missionaries in 1940s China, Os and his family witnessed the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949 and the start of the reign of terror of Mao Tse Tung, before they were evicted from the country, along with other foreigners, in 1951.

Os was educated in Europe, studying for his undergraduate degree at the University of London, before receiving a D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. Os worked as a freelance reporter for the BBC, before moving to the U.S. in 1984. Since then, he has held a variety of positions, including Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation. In 1991, Os founded the Trinity Forum, which develops networks of leaders who share its commitment to cultural renewal.

Os has frequently spoken at political and business conferences in both Europe and the U.S., and has addressed a wide variety of prestigious audiences, including the UK House of Commons, the U.S. Congress, the St Petersburg Parliament and the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences.

Os has also written or edited thirty books on a wide variety of themes, including The American Hour, Time for Truth, The Call, Invitation to the Classics, and A Free People’s Suicide. One of Os’ more recent books has been his publication The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity, in which he encourages the promotion of the freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none, and the creation of a civil public square which reinforces this, calling for a leadership which works for the common good.

At the Show Up Weekend, Os will be speaking on engaging the public square, using a strong Biblical foundation. In an interview posted on Virtue Online, Os stresses that Christians still should “engage with faithfulness at the very heart of power”, citing the example of Daniel who was able to serve God from his political position at the heart of Nebuchadnezzar’s court. It is through such active engagement that one can truly make an impact.

It is not too late to sign up to hear Os, as well as many others, address Christian political engagement at the Show Up Weekend, although places are selling out fast. For details, including how to book, click here.

For more information on Os Guinness, including articles and interviews with him, you can visit his website at www.osguinness.com.