The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said people should see themselves according to their relationships with others, not as an ‘atomised individual’.
Speaking at the fifth Theos annual lecture on the topic, ‘The person and the individual: human dignity, human relationships and human limits’, Dr Williams called for a ‘new understanding of personhood’.
He said individualism corrodes politics, sex and ultimately our whole way of living, and that our society needs to move away from defining people as atomised individuals, detachable from their relationships. Otherwise, we feed unhealthy desires for the perfect body and perfect career, rather than nourishing deep personal connections.
Dr Williams also told the attendees, who gathered for the lecture at London’s Westminster Central Hall, ‘I don’t really like the word “tolerance”, as it is a low-level concept which can lead to indifference’.
For the full recording of the lecture, go to www.theosthinktank.co.uk