Theo Hobson

Theo Hobson

Theo Hobson is the author of seven books, including God Created Humanism: the Christian Basis of Secular Values

What does the faith school shake-up mean for Anglicans?

Why do faith schools excite such passions? Obviously people care a lot about religion, and education, but there’s something else at work too. Schools are microcultures, bubbles, little versions of society, in which the secularism of our culture can be shut out, defied. It sounds like a strange exaggeration, but if a religion has its

What should we make of Russell Brand’s baptism?

Could Russell Brand, who has just been baptised, become a significant Christian figure? I suppose he could become a sort of British televangelist, God help us. But significant in a good way? It’s not impossible: he’s sharp and charismatic, and taps in to a major English spiritual tradition. But it’s not likely either: our culture needs

The CofE’s female clergy muddle is not sustainable

It’s thirty years since the first women were ordained as priests of the Church of England. For ten years, there have been women bishops too. Well, at least one aspect of the Church’s reform is done and dusted.  Cue hollow laughter from those acquainted with the strange intricacy and agony surrounding this seemingly simple reform.

Is Richard Dawkins a Christian?

When the New Atheism thing was new, I wrote a piece saying that the people who supported it were pretentious and cowardly. They pretended to know what religion is, and said that it caused great harm. I said this was ‘intellectual cowardice’. The intellectual coward is one who chooses simplicity over complexity and difficulty. One

Is there anything wrong with ‘Christian nationalism’?

When does radical religious conservatism become a dangerous bid for theocracy? It’s a question that some American commentators are pondering, in relation to ‘Christian nationalism’. David French has argued in the New York Times that we should be wary of the term ‘Christian nationalism’, which is often attached to Trump-supporting evangelicals. There is nothing very

The Church of England shouldn’t be neutral about the Ukraine war

The Church of England’s Synod is debating the war in Ukraine today. There will be a vote on a motion that sounds uncontentious: Synod affirms the peace-making efforts of various churches, calls for the highest possible protection of religious freedom, and calls for UK political parties to work for a peaceful international order. But sometimes

Why won’t Justin Welby call out Russia’s Patriarch Kirill?

Justin Welby has just visited Ukraine. While there he spoke clearly against the false religion that underlies Russia’s ideology, and called Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Orthodox leader, a heretic, a war-criminal and a perverter of the Christian gospel. Alas, only the first sentence is true. Welby has never, as far I can see, called out

The Bishop of Oxford: why I support gay marriage

We all know the Church of England is ‘divided’ over homosexuality. But it’s not a very equal division. Reform is favoured by a clear majority of bishops, the clergy and Anglican worshippers. So how are the conservative evangelicals managing to hold back the tide? Perhaps the problem is a lack of leadership. The archbishops have

Why do I keep falling for Boris Johnson’s charm?

On Saturday, I was in a public library, waiting for an old guy to finish with the Times. But he seemed to be reading every word of every section, and sort of peering at it frowningly in an annoying way. So I did something I hardly ever do: I picked up the Daily Mail.  I had forgotten

Svitlana Morenets, James Heale and Theo Hobson

17 min listen

This week: Svitlana Morenets explains why Ukrainians can’t trust Putin’s hollow promises (00:57), James Heale reads his politics column on Rishi’s January blues (05:42), and Theo Hobson describes the joys of middle-aged football (10:54).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

When will Rory Stewart’s time come?

Can a dose of moral earnestness revive Tory fortunes? This is the question raised by Rory Stewart’s recent memoir, Politics on the Edge: A Memoir From Within, which sits on top of the bestseller charts more than three months after it came out. Another question the book raises is this: is Stewart’s brand of moral

The joy of middle-aged football

I can tell when my life’s going OK. My stray thoughts are not about what a loser I am but about what a terrible footballer I am. Why didn’t I shoot when I had that chance? Why did I pass to the opposition? And, oh dear, I wonder how Diego’s knee is? For almost a

Praying with the Pentecostalists

I go to my local church. But not my very local church. There’s a Pentecostal church, a plain building used mostly by worshipers from the Caribbean, on my very road. Happy music sometimes spills out and I have often seen smartly dressed worshippers outside. When I told my wife that I planned to go to

When will the CofE have an honest debate about homosexuality?

At the Church of England’s General Synod on Wednesday morning, I had a good view of the sign-language person. In a bored moment (sorry for the puerility), I tried to see what the sign for ‘sex’ was. I failed to discover this, but happened to be watching him while an evangelical spoke of progressive teaching

Where does Justin Welby stand on homosexuality?

The Church of England has realised that its decades of dithering over homosexuality must end. It must finally bite the bullet, and introduce liberal reforms.  To be more precise, most of the bishops have realised that reform is necessary, and that delay is disastrous. Most of the clergy and most of the laity share this

The trouble with Canterbury Cathedral’s rave

I will not be attending the silent disco that is soon to be held in Canterbury Cathedral. I will not witness ‘some of the UK’s best 90s DJs playing all your favourite tunes in the stunning, illuminated surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral’. I will not be among ‘100s of like-minded 90s fans singing their hearts out whilst