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Moral Heart of Public Service

by Claire Foster-Gilbert Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Hbk 288 pages
AU$45.99 NZ$47.82
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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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 Hennessey, 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 vital goodness throughout all aspects of public life.

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. References.

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.
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 C athedral for ethics in finance before founding the Westminster Abbey Institute for ethics in public life. She has been called a 'quiet public intellectual'.