By James Chapman
Gordon Brown has made an overtly religious call for a new world order based on the 'deep moral sense' shared by all faiths.
Making the first speech by a serving Prime Minister at St Paul's Cathedral in London, he quoted scripture as he urged people to unite to forge a new 'global society'.
The Prime Minister argued that through all faiths, traditions and heritages runs a 'single powerful modern sense demanding responsibility from all and fairness to all'.
He quoted the Christian doctrine of 'do to others what you would have them do unto you' and highlighted similar principles in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.
'They each and all reflect a sense that we share the pain of others, and a sense that we believe in something bigger than
ourselves - that we cannot be truly content while others face despair, cannot be completely at ease while others live in fear, cannot be satisfied while others are in sorrow,' he said.
'We all feel, regardless of the source of our philosophy, the same deep moral sense that each of us is our brother and sisters' keeper . . . we cannot and will not pass by on the other side when people are suffering and when we have it within our power to help.'
He went on to suggest the world economy and society should be rebuilt around a Zulu word for hope - themba - which is also an acronym for 'there must be an alternative'.
The speech was an extraordinary break from his predecessor Tony Blair, whose spin doctor Alastair Campbell famously declared that 'we don't do God'.
At Westminster it was also seen as high risk for a Government mired in allegations of sleaze to put morality and faith at the centre of its political and economic message.