Letter: The universality of Christian socialism

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Sir: As someone who has attempted to rewrite Christian socialism as a more politically correct 'ethical socialism', Professor AH Halsey ('Where is the spirit of our age?', 8 July) seems understandably embarrassed that people should increasingly doubt the efficacy of a self-evident 'ethics' as a political imperative, and come to feel that the values by which he sets so much store are not given for all time - as the Enlightenment had it - but the legacy of Christian faith.

On what grounds does he link an explicitly Christian socialism with chauvinism and opine that the true patriot 'will think universally of ethically rather than parochially of Christian socialism'? Surely it was Trotsky, and not Jesus Christ, who was heading for the dustbin of history when he assumed that a sneering reference to the Sermon on the Mount amounted to a verdict of political disqualification?

Yours sincerely,

CEDRIC PORTER

London, SE4

9 July

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