The tenth assembly of the World Council of Churches, like many ecumenical gatherings, is facing strong opposition and criticism from fundamentalist-style Christian groups, notes Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. The answer this is not to adopt the mindset and rejectionism of our opponents, but to engage with with difference and “otherness” however difficult and challenging that might be.
According to the US state department, a strike on Syria could come "within days" as military assets are "ready to go". Simon Barrow looks at what underlies both the accusations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the current US-driven fervour for another military intervention in the troubled region.
The issue of what constitutes 'the good', in persons, in relationships and in society is an interesting one. It is far less straightforward than many assume, says Simon Barrow. He highlights the importance of theology, and the Christian doctrine of God in particular, for appreciating how we arrive at 'goodness', and how we develop an ethic based on communal virtue in the church and beyond.
For the enrichment and development of plural public education on the one hand, and healthy faith communities on the other, it is necessary that the distinction between the two - as well as their need to converse and cooperate - is understood and put into operation, says Simon Barrow. That is why community schooling for all is so important.
What is the relationship between arts in the broadest sense, and change in the broadest sense (social, personal, cultural, political and economic)? Simon Barrow reports on a transformative conversation between practitioners and participants.
It has often been said that there ought to be no such thing as an 'illegal' human being. Yet this language is used frequently and potently in relation to migration. Simon Barrow previews a film that looks at the issue from a human and historical point of view.
Twenty years ago, many public commentators believed that religion was dead, or at least 'on the way out'. How wrong that proved. Simon Barrow looks at how the conversation about faith is deepening and broadening in the face of growing religious and non-religious diversity.
As a Christian think-tank concerned to promote a theological vision of equality in partnership with those of other beliefs and life-stances, Ekklesia is pleased to be part of the new Fair Admissions Campaign (FAC) for publicly funded schools. The initiative seeks to bring equity to a system that should be a beacon of justice and inclusion, yet is mired in discrimination. Simon Barrow explains why he believes that this issue should matter to all of us, both people of faith and people of good faith but not religious belief. Here he looks at it from a specifically Christian viewpoint.
Two rural congreagtions say they will vote to leave the Church of Scotland over possible further ordinations of lesbian and gay ministers. In truth, the landscape is changing, says Simon Barrow. Larger numbers may well stay or join the Kirk if it ends its rejection of same-sex relationships, than will leave for the same reason. The refuseniks are looking back, not forward.