Can Nicola Sturgeon, as new leader of the SNP and Scotland's First Minister, inject some fresh energy and spirit into politics at Holyrood, and honour the desire for transformational change that came out of the referendum? Simon Barrow looks at her outlook and style as she steps further into the limelight.
Roughly 420,000 English-born people will have a vote in Scotland’s independence referendum later this year, because they live and work here. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. Here he gives a personal account of his shift towards supporting a "Yes" vote – but on the firm basis of solidarity, not separation.
Seven years ago this week, Ekklesia first published a report entitled 'When the Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George for a new era'. Simon Barrow shows how an old story re-told can also help us re-understand the rightful impact of the Gospel in the contemporary era, beyond imperial religion and politics.
The contested details of the latest proposals from the UK Chancellor are only partly illustrative of the momentous economic challenge that lies behind and beyond the Budget, says Simon Barrow. Right now the entire system based at Westminster is failing adequately to comprehend and address, let alone tackle, the really big issues in which economics is a major factor.
Pioneering Lutheran theologian, anti-Nazi resister, educator, ecumenist, poet, pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born on 4 February 1906. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow introduces an important new book which challenges the myth of his abandonment of peacemaking and recovers his call to the way of Christ.
The government’s Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill – described in the Financial Times as “one of the worst pieces of legislation put before the Houses of Parliament for many moons” – enters Committee stage in parliament on 16 and 18 December 2013, and goes to Report stage on 13 and 15 January 2014. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow explains what is wrong with this dangerous piece of legislation and how it can be, and is being, challenged.
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.