Dr Rowan Willams is latest New Statesman guest editor

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is guest editor for this week’s edition of the New Statesman.

The leader of the Anglican church has followed in the footsteps of Melvyn Bragg and Jemima Khan, who are other recent guest editors of the current affairs weekly which (like Press Gazette) is part of the Progressive Media group.

This week’s edition investigates David Cameron’s ‘big society”, with analysis and commentary from the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Maurice Glasman and Iain Duncan Smith.

Also included are His Dark Materials author and prominent critic of organised religion Philip Pullman, who explains why he’s a ‘Church of England atheist”; Terry Eagleton on secularism and Victoria Coren writing about faith versus poker.

Dr Williams said: ‘This is not a platform for the establishment to explain itself – any more than the New Statesman ever is. The hope is that it may be possible to spark some livelier debate about where we are going, perhaps even to discover what the left’s big idea currently is.”

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley said: ‘I have long admired Rowan Williams as a thinker and public intellectual. His previous contributions to the magazine under my editorship have been both thoughtful and thought-provoking. We agreed that he would guest-edit the magazine over lunch at Lambeth Palace in January; we have been working on the issue ever since.

‘Although the New Statesman is a secular magazine, we recognise Dr Williams’s contribution to public and political debate, and this is an important intervention from him. I’m delighted with the issue.”

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