When the banks wrecked the economy, people were angry: angry with politicians, bankers, and super-rich tax dodgers. Movements like Occupy questioned the very foundations of our global capitalist economy. Voters needed a party or a leader who would understand their anger, who would reject business as usual politics and teach the establishment a lesson. So what did that establishment need?
Minorities, dissidents and the poor in India are at risk as extreme-right politician Narendra Modi takes control as prime minister. He represents the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), part of the Hindutva movement, which misuses religion in the quest for power.
Ministers in the Baptist Union of Great Britain who bless same-sex partnerships will no longer be disciplined for doing so if they have the support of their local church. I think this is brilliant news.
Yesterday saw the formal launch of the White Feather Diaires, a social media project exploring the lives of British pacifists during the first world war. The project's run by Quakers in Britain, who hired me as a writer and an editor for the project. I'm really pleased to be working on this project. Yesterday we announced the names of the five individuals whose writings will form the basis of the project, when it goes online in the summer.
New Zealand’s Anglican church has agree to explore ways of blessing same-sex relationships, while protecting the freedom of those who disagree. Meanwhile senior Church of England clergy have warned that opposing inclusion is undermining Christian witness.
“They showed themselves weak in trying to frighten us.” My grandfather's words about the Blackshirts, born out of his experience of the conflict of Cable Street, have stayed in my mind. As a young child, I sensed their import, even though I had little understanding of the context or the meaning. I revisited his words with an adult understanding in the light of two occasions of weak and ugly behaviours from UKIP supporters over the last few days.
Equal marriage is now taking effect in England, Wales, Scotland and many other parts of the world. Some Christians welcome this, others are unsure or opposed. Against this background, theological reflection on sexuality and gender identity is particularly important.
Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.
Theologian and Anglican clergyman Sam Wells, who among other things is a specialist on the writings and thought of doyen Anabaptist-oriented public intellectual Stanley Hauerwas, has worked with Marcia Owen in the practical Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham (RCND) in the USA, as well as on a stimulating book called Living Without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence (InterVarsity Press, 2011).
Well over two decades ago, one of my favourite university tutors in family law often delighted in reminding me of an expression that Charles Dickens had popularised in Oliver Twist. Was it not Bumble who had professed to Brownlow that the law is an ass - or to be more faithful to 19th century diction, "The law is a ass - a idiot [sic]"?