Simon Barrow's blog

Will Cardinal Martini's '200 years out of date' comments echo in the Conclave?

Not long before he died in August last year (2012), the Catholic Archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini's final comments on the Church were that its leadership was “200 years out of date” - bureaucratic, pompous, autocratic, inflexible and seemingly remote from the spirit of Christ on key issues.

Books and journals available: Mission studies, Africa and more

Collections of books on anthropology, new religious movements, the history of Christian mission, various regions in Africa and Asia, and related subjects are being offered to interested libraries, institutions or individuals.

What kind of leader will Archbishop Justin Welby be?

I have been commenting on the prospects Archbishop Justin Welby, who starts his new job this week, on BBC Radio 5 Live 'Morning Reports' (5am onwards), on Premier Radio, and on other news bulletins on 4 February 2013.

Workshop: Future of the welfare state in Scotland

As part of the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) debate and consultation on referendum issues, Edinburgh TUC (ETUC) is organising a series of workshops on key issues facing Scotland and its capital.

Holocaust remembrance, truth, nonviolence and the Responsibility to Protect

"Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon back in 2005.

Better... but the government is still in a mess over marriage

The UK government's culture secretary, Maria Miller, gave a rather faltering performance on BBC Radio 4's flagship 'Today' programme this morning, answering questions -- or, rather, trying to avoid them -- about the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.

Commentary on the Strasbourg judgement: Eweida & Others v. the UK

Writing on his eChurch blog, Stuart James, who has been following the Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane cases thoughtfully, comments that there is one thing we can guarantee. When the European Court of Human Rights judgement on alleged 'discrimination against Christians' claims is published (that happened this morning), there will be "a flurry of ill-informed, polemic, alarmist headlines, and articles."

Human Rights: the Eweida ‘BA cross’ case judgement

This morning (15 December 2013) the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed down judgements in four cases where allegations have been made of unlawful discrimination against Christians.

The new 'precariat': living on the edge in unstable Britain

As the distorted language of 'shirkers and strivers' becomes ever more embedded in governing culture, it is definitely worth having a look at the new book Poverty and Insecurity: Life in low-pay, no-pay Britain (Studies in Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion), by Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, Colin Scott Webster and Kayleigh Garthwaite. It was published by Policy Press on 19 December 2012.

New Year greetings from Ekklesia: looking back and ahead

Ekklesia's staff, associates and contributors extend warm New Year greetings to all who have read, engaged with and supported us in 2012.