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The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  11 reviews
How do we live with our deepest differences?

In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion's place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully?

Os Guinness argues that the w
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 8th 2013 by IVP Books (first published March 20th 2013)
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Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In years past I had a major presence in that segment of Evangelicalism devoted to apologetic confrontation with new religions (“cults”) and certain world religions. After undergoing a paradigm shift I moved away from this type of understanding and way of engagement, and in more recent years have been involved in interreligious encounters that, while not compromising my convictions, are more civil and diplomatic. This has included personal friendships and interactions with people across a religio ...more
Christian Barrett
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Guinness writes from a Christian perspective, for the whole idea of soul freedom genuinely comes from a foundation built on the Word of God. However, this book is should be read by any thinker that wants to think and live freely. In a world where people and ideas are cancelled daily this book is needed now more so than it was in 2013. Guinness calls for a world that is full of conversation and is full of people seeking to find the truth. Which ultimately allows for freedom of thought and express ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Americans concerned about free speech
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.

The Global Public Square

The book’s subtitle is “Religious freedom and the making of a world safe for diversity.” The idea is that for maximum “soul freedom” we need neither a “sacred” public square, where only the official/majority religion can speak to public policy (as in countries with a state religion), nor a “naked” public square, where no religion is permitted to speak to public policy (officia
Tim Hoiland
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, justice
Religious freedom—and discrimination—has been in the news quite a bit in recent years. And these headlines haven’t merely been about Christians being persecuted for their faith in places like Iran and North Korea, or Muslims in Burma, or Hindus in Pakistan. No, the issue has recently been hitting closer to home, especially with the controversial HHS contraceptive mandate, which led Timothy Dolan to say on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “We are concerned as pastors with the fr ...more
Nicholas Varady-szabo
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry
Guinness' vast knowledge of world history, and depth of study and thought on the topic of civilisation building, preserving and destroying comes through resoundingly in this book. Guinness explores the topic of religious freedom, and argues convincingly that the existence of a functioning democratic society and freedom for citizens requires a foundation of freedom of conscience and expression for people of all religions and none. A very important book for today and the uncertain future our world ...more
JR Snow
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good. Main point is: We must allow those with whom we disagree to have the same freedom we want, and only in that freedom can civilization flourish. Peace of Westphalia, baby!
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18.

Os Guinness has penned this extended argument as both defense of and elaboration of how this statement passed in the United Nations in 1948 might sha
Scott Haraburda
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


In a world becoming more divided between extreme religion and extreme secularism comes a book with hope of a better future. The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity discusses the threat to human dignity coming from a loss of religious freedoms around the world and its peoples’ inability to live with diversity in civility in the “public square”.

We live in a world with two extrem
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
This is a necessary read in a time where polarisation is rampant on many issues. We do need to learn to really listen to each other and debate out of willingness to truly understand our 'opponents', not to score points. Besides some helpful anaysis Guinness touched my heart with this cry. No doubt we face different issues in different countries, but this applies to all of us.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Mr. Guinness lays out the discord between the religious community and secularists very clearly. He tells of the historical background of this conflict, present day conflict. He fails to lay out clear and specific solutions, offering very poetic language goals.
Jamie Pennington
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
It was a bit of an eye opening and educational read. I'm glad I picked it up.
Jeffrey Romine
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Jun 15, 2018
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InterVarsity Pres...: My review of The Global Public Square 1 6 Oct 20, 2014 09:43AM  

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Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he was the founder of the Trinity Forum and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. He lives near Washi ...more

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