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2023 Politics and Society Network

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    Politics and Society
Equipping leaders to influence society through a Christian worldview

The European Politics and Society Network is designed to teach key Christian political, legal, and social leaders how to be salt and light through effectively communicating Christ’s character in their respective contexts. Applicants should be those who are working in the areas of politics, law, campaigning, or community action. Both seasoned lawyers, activists, and campaigners and aspirants will benefit from the input of leading thinkers and practitioners. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

Applicants should be those who are working in areas of politics, campaigning, or community action. Both seasoned campaigners and aspirant politicians will benefit from the input of leading thinkers and practitioners.

Network Leadership

Nola Leach served as the former Chief Executive of CARE (Christian Action Research & Education), one of Europe’s leading Christian charities, which provides resources and helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE undertakes a… Read more
Charlie Hoare received his Bachelor's degree in History at the University of Durham. After a year of working for a British Member of Parliament, he studied law before taking a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in social policy and non-profit management. From 1998-2012 he was CARE’s… Read more
Roxana Stanciu serves as the Chief Operating Officer of CARE (Christian Action, Research and Education) in London. CARE’s vision is to see a society that has a greater regard for human dignity and increasingly reflects God’s grace and truth through public policy, media, and local practical… Read more

Network Speakers

Charlie Catlett is a computer scientist who has focused his research for nearly 40 years in the development of the Internet and WorldWideWeb, computer security, and high-performance computing, holding scientific leadership positions at multiple universities and national laboratories. During the… Read more

Ross Hendry serves as CEO of CARE since November 2021. Prior to joining the team, he was the CEO of Spurgeon’s, one of the UK’s largest children’s charities. He has also served as Deputy CEO at the Read more

Charlie Hoare received his Bachelor's degree in History at the University of Durham. After a year of working for a British Member of Parliament, he studied law before taking a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in social policy and non-profit management. From 1998-2012 he was CARE’… Read more

Nola Leach served as the former Chief Executive of CARE (Christian Action Research & Education), one of Europe’s leading Christian charities, which provides resources and helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE… Read more

Jane Norton is the daughter of a coach and teacher who taught her the value of work, honesty, family, and service. Those ideals led her to a career in public service where she served in appointed and elected government positions in her home state of Colorado and in Washington,… Read more

Espen Ottosen has worked as the information director for Norwegian Lutheran Mission since 2003. In that capacity, he has frequently appeared in debates on national television and radio. Also he has written essays and articles in a wide range of Norwegian newspapers… Read more

Roxana Stanciu serves as the Chief Operating Officer of CARE (Christian Action, Research and Education) in London. CARE’s vision is to see a society that has a greater regard for human dignity and increasingly reflects God’s grace and truth through public policy, media, and local practical… Read more

Veronika Šumová is currently working for the European Commission as Information and Communication Officer. She leads communication campaigns related to the EU Internal Market as well as support available to small companies and startups in the EU. She has more than 11 years of experience on… Read more

Pasi Turunen, theologian (M.Th), author, blogger, and apologist, has been working as a Christian radio broadcaster for over 30 years. He studied theology at Helsinki University, where his master’s thesis dealt with Jewish views on resurrection in the intertestamental Jewish literature. Turunen… Read more

Network Programme

Sunday, 21 May

The aim of this presentation is to look at the question of the ethics of war in the light of Scripture and draw the basic outline of classical just war theory as it has come down to us from Augustine through Aquinas and Grotius. Can we find a meaningful middle-ground from a Christian perspective between two extremes of militarism and pacifism?

For about twenty years Espen Ottosen has been participating regularly in debates in the secular/general media in Norway. In a country like Norway, which is very secularized, standing up for a Christian perspective on same-sex marriage, biotechnical issues, and questions related to sex and gender, is a big challenge. In this session, Ottosen will share the lessons he’s learned on how to communicate to people in the public square with little knowledge and/or many prejudices about classical Christian belief.

Monday, 22 May

There is a huge push for abortion at the European level – often in the name of love, dignity, freedom, and empowerment. Christians cannot turn a blind eye to this situation. How do we make a difference? What does it mean to care for the most vulnerable in a society where the right to life – a fundamental human right – is threatened? What does it mean to care for both mothers and unborn babies and to show that there is hope and there is a better story to tell? What are some best practices that we can employ?

In a world that rewards convictions expressed with little civility and civility without deep convictions, how do Christians demonstrate an authentic Christ-likeness? Being faithful in the public square means practicing “convicted civility” – having convictions and compassion even when those around us don't. We will consider what it looks like and how we can speak with grace and truth in politics.

Tuesday, 23 May

Mathematicians and computer scientists have developed and studied Artificial Intelligence (AI) for many decades. In 1950 Alan Turing, considered one of the fathers of computer science, proposed the "imitation game" (now called the Turing Test) to assess a computer's ability to interact in a fashion indistinguishable from a human. We discuss how AI systems work (without formulae or buzzwords), what we might expect in the coming decade, and how AI systems are playing an increasingly central role in culture and society.

Whether your country is currently at war or peace, the “information war” is something we are all experiencing. How did social media and the internet become key battlefields? What does this mean for us as individuals and for our societies, and what can we do about it?

Wednesday, 24 May

Drawing on their respective experiences of working for many years in appointed and elected leadership roles in politics and the public square, Jane and Nola will share their observations on hard won lessons learned along the way.

There is no area in the realm of politics and society into which our Christian faith does not speak. Across this Network, participants have grappled with considerable issues of our day and sought to understand how we as Christians can best stand for the Lord and help His Church shine as a light for hope and truth. This session will bring together the key points that have emerged across the four days with opportunities for participants to express their take-home points.