The Moral Heart of Public Service

The Moral Heart of Public Service

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Now more than ever, public servants must consider and reassess how to keep moral courage in public life alive. With ethical expectations and needs changing and government policies under increasing moral scrutiny, Claire Foster-Gilbert of Westminster Abbey Institute gathers a series of essays and lectures by herself and others, exploring the meaning of 'moral code' in today's public service, and how it can be rekindled in practice.Timely and timeless, the book is founded on traditional values of honesty, moral rigour and neighbourliness, and discusses how to champion stability, peace, community and virtue in contemporary public life. The authors, including eminent figures such as the former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, historian Peter Hennessy, former First Secretary of State William Hague and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, explain how realistic compromises can be balanced with clear goal-setting for ideal results. Forward-thinking and authoritative, this book will be a precious resource to anyone seeking to boost the circulation of integrity throughout all aspects of public more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • N/A
  • 1785922556
  • 9781785922558
  • 567,090

About Claire Foster-gilbert

Claire Foster-Gilbert has published four books and numerous articles, and has extensive media experience. She was formerly an expert in medical ethics, environmental ethics, on learning ethics through storytelling, and she created an Institute at St Paul's Cathedral for ethics in finance before founding the Westminster Abbey Institute for ethics in public life. She has been called a 'quiet public intellectual'.show more

Table of contents

Foreword - The Dean of Westminster. Introduction - Claire Foster-Gilbert. 1. Humanising hell: our restless conscience and the search for peace - William Hague. 2. Strengthening Moral Courage in Public Life - Claire Foster-Gilbert. 3. Building Communities - Mary McAleese and John Hall. 4. Idealism and Compromise - Vernon White. 5. The Staying Power of Benedict in Parliament Square - Rowan Williams. 6. Benedictine Values in Public Life - Vernon White, Andrew Tremlett, Claire Foster-Gilbert. 7. Reflections: timeliness and timelessness - Peter Hennessy and Claire Foster-Gilbert. Afterword - Stephen Lamport. more

Review quote

We live in an age when noisy moralism is everywhere, and the news and social media have invaded the pulpit. Quiet reflection on moral truth, however, and the noble sobriety of public administration, have become under-valued virtues. All power to a book like this in redressing that imbalance. -- Matthew Parris, Times columnist and author Meet the better angels of your nature. Find out what 'public service' really means. -- Lord Saatchi In this increasingly uncertain society of post truth in which we live, the lectures and discussions are thought-provoking and timely. They give the opportunity for reflection, particularly, for those who serve the public, in whatever capacity, to know where they stand and having found that place hold to it. Congratulations to the Westminster Abbey Institute. -- Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, House of Lords and former President, Family Division, High Court Social capital is the glue that holds communities together and it is a vital commodity in short supply. This book offers welcome recognition of those public servants and private citizens who recognise a moral imperative in working to make our society stronger. -- Mark Easton, BBC News Home Editor The conflict between moral courage, idealism and compromise ... requires constant attention, and it is this struggle that keeps us morally alive and allows us to retain our souls. Through a combination of deep moral philosophy and historical perspectives, leavened by practical experience and revealed in compelling interviews, this book achieves something rather special: it forces us to think about who we are, what we do and why? -- Frances D'Souza CMG, Scientist and Member of the House of Lords The Westminster Abbey Institute helps the people who wander the four corners of Parliament Square where church, law and politics live together. And so does this book. Yet it can help more than this small community. It is both a challenging and caring read for leaders and managers everywhere. It avoids the easy temptation to preach, but offers a clear direction for those who will listen. -- Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police until 2017 A timely, thought-provoking book of lectures and essays. Numerous writers including the historian Peter Hennessy and the former foreign secretary William Hague discuss ways to work for good in the world, without the meddling connotations of do-gooding. -- Catholic Heraldshow more

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