In this timely book, based on the second annual Erasmus Lectures at the University of Notre Dame, Shirley Williams reflects on the relationship between Christian teaching, the Catholic Church, and public life in the modern world. She introduces _God and Caesar _with a moving account of the way in which her political career has been shaped by her personal faith. She then examines the ways in which traditional structures of preindustrial society have been damaged, and in some cases, destroyed by scientific and material progress. This process, she argues, has distanced human beings from God and the natural world.
Williams draws interesting parallels between the current cynicism for politicians and politics, and the prevailing crisis in the Catholic priesthood. She also discusses the roles which have opened up for women in the last century and contends that there are ways in which the Catholic Church can and should recognize and respect these roles.
The second half of the book is devoted to the effects of globalization in the twenty-first century. Williams pays particular attention to the cultural and social gulf that exists between countries which support and harbor terrorism and pragmatic, relativistic, secular societies. She explores the religious and ethical considerations that are relevant to the struggle against terrorism, and sets out the basis of an international legal and moral order with which to combat global adversaries. _God and Caesar _is a powerful spiritual testament by one of Britain’s leading postwar politicians.
“[Williams] writes in a simple and conversational, down-to-earth style. . . . Williams manages to show that ethical straight-talking remains possible for a politician.” — Religious Studies Review
“Williams offers a wide-ranging and spirited commentary on several issues facing the contemporary Church and world.” — Theological Studies
“God and Caesar will be enormously attractive to those who despair of institutional politics and religion. This is an inspiring work. . . .” — Times Literary Supplement
“. . . [A] soul-searching discussion of the political process, both in the secular world and in the recently scandal-rocked Catholic Church hierarchy. . . . [H]ighly recommended reading for Catholics as well as members of other Christian denominations with an interest in national and international affairs.” — Midwest Book Review