It is often claimed that Great Britain is one of the most secular nations on earth, but Ian Bradley argues that 'Britishness' (like the overlapping crosses on the 400-year-old Union flag) is best understood in religious terms. He maintains that the idea of 'being British' has special value as a broad church measure of spiritual and cultural inclusiveness - and as a positive alternative to fundamentalism, narrow nationalism and jingoism. The author explores various distinctive contributions to Britishness made over the centuries by the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scots, and the new black and Asian Britons. Looking to a new sense of British identity that combines myth, imagination and tradition with an open-minded respect for difference, Believing in Britain makes a thoughtful and challenging contribution to one of the most important discussions of our time.
Ian Bradley is Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of St Andrews. A former political correspondent on The Times, he has written several books including Abide With Me, The Penguin Book of Hymns, God is Green and The Celtic Way.