COLONIALISM, a moral reckoning

: Biggar (N.)

R 740.00
- +

480pp., map, hardback, d.w., London, 2023


"Carries the intellectual force of a Javeline antitank missile. Colonialism is no apologia for empire… but calls for balance ... Biggar acknowledges wickedness in our nation but his version of history calls us to accept the messiness and moral compromises inherent in liberalism" Sunday Times

"Biggar has caused waves in recent years with his call for a moral reappraisal of colonialism. Contemporary historians, he believes, have made us feel too guilty about Britain’s colonial past. We need to recognise not just the bad but also the good of empire. Colonialism is his attempt to create such a moral balance sheet ... Denigrating colonialism, he claims, is an 'important way of corroding faith in the west'. Yet, in seeking to challenge what he regards as cartoonish views of imperial history, Biggar has produced something equally cartoonish, a politicised history that ill-serves his aim of defending 'western values'. After all, to rewrite the past to suit the needs of the present, and to defend people’s rights only when politically convenient, is hardly to present those values in a flattering light." Kenan Malik, Guardian 

Nigel Biggar is Regius Professor Emeritus of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford, where he directs the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life. Before assuming his professorship at Oxford, he occupied chairs at the University of Leeds and at Trinity College, Dublin. He was appointed C.B.E. in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. His books include What’s Wrong with Rights? (2020), Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An ethic of the nation (2014), and In Defence of War (2013).