I’ve been reading Larry Siedentop’s amazing book – Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism.

Crossing in Vienna

Individually valuable. PICTURE: Jacek Dylag/Unsplash

In it he documents how we owe our liberal values to the life of Jesus of Nazareth and His interpreters - St Paul, Augustine and others.

It is fascinating how the ideas of Jesus have percolated in and out of great minds to transform society over centuries.

Ultimately it is his idea of the equality of souls – that we are all individually valuable as God’s children – that radically transformed a world that believed and operated on the opposite assumption, that only the elite mattered.

Seeds planted 2,000 years ago are still bearing fruit – yet ironically Western liberalism is coming to a point where it wants to cut itself from the source of its own life.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at atthetop.org.au.