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The previous blog finished off comparing the influence ‘Das Capital’ had on the twentieth century with the influence St Francis’s radical approach could have in the twenty first century. This is not such a outlandish statement to make when Francis’s role model, Jesus Christ, has had such a monumental influence on every century since his death. So what does Francis have to offer that can add to that influence? Well, he offers us a very human picture of someone with many faults whose vision of what society and life could be like, in the person of Christ, was so overwhelmingly attractive that thousands of people in his own day followed him, as hundreds of thousands have done ever since. The time is ripe for resurgence. One of the interesting things about Francis was that he didn’t criticise the way Christianity was being practised by the church and its leaders, even though the church was corrupt, but he helped to regenerate the vision of a Christian society by taking the words and actions of Christ literally. The mistake that religions of all persuasions have so often made, and are still making, is to think that this can be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by experiencing the benefits of a better way of life. Interestingly, this is being sought by society all the time. Delegations travelling all over the world looking at how other countries do better in health, education, sport etc. In the Guardian newspaper, political correspondent, Allegra Stratton, wrote an article on Sunday 14th November 2010, on David Cameron’s ‘General Well Being’ initiative, in which she quoted David Cameron’s statement: ‘Improving our society’s sense of well being is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times.’ Echoes of which come from Aristotle’s, ‘happiness is humans flourishing and having a purpose to life’ and nearer to our times by Maynard Keynes, talking about ‘the art of life’. David Cameron’s GWB initiative feels as though it’s rather fizzled out. But isn’t this what all the major religions, at their best, are trying to do. To create a fairer, more just, more equitable, more joyful way of life? So, this was the goal. To make a film that everyone might feel could be for them. An impossible dream I know but no less worth pursuing because of the impossible nature of the task. I really don’t mind being shot down for my idealism. It’s better to aim high and glimpse the mountain top than to aim too low and see nothing but the mire.

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