Category - critical religion

  • April 2, 2012

    What seems to have crystallised as the key to Archbishop Rowan Williams’ recent (somewhat early) resignation from his job, and as head of the global Anglican Communion, is the issue of sexuality. But, Alison Jasper suggests, this is part of a wider matrix of power and position connected to the deployment of the discursive category ‘religion’ and to the secular state acquiring a normative status.

  • March 26, 2012

    It is almost a truism to note that if the mainstream media is our only source of news regarding anything to do with religion (however that might be conceived) in the Middle East, or even the Middle East in general, we are in deep trouble, says Dr Michael Marten. Here he analyses some of the major misunderstandings, urging the BBC and others to 'up their game' and to have the courage to address difficult and contentious issues appropriately.

  • March 18, 2012

    Pope Shenouda III, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, the single largest church in the Middle East, died on Saturday 17 March 2012 aged 89. Ekklesia associate Michael Marten, from the University of Stirling, locates and evaluates his significance.

  • March 1, 2012

    While the direction of ‘impact statements’ is all about what the public is getting for its money, it says nothing about the bigger issues of impact that offend or contest common sense and sensibility and in which universities have always, in the past, taken a leading role. Dr Alison Jasper argues this point with regard to two icons of feminist religious and philosophical scholarship, Simone de Beauvoir and Mary Daly.

  • February 17, 2012

    Richard Dawkins' oft-publicised arguments about beliefs rest on classificatory dividing lines between ‘religion’ and ‘science’, ‘faith’ and ‘secular’ reason. In his passionate rebuttal, Dr Timothy Fitzgerald suggests that, contrary to popular perception, the armies of generalities so deployed have little meaningful content, but instead serve to legitimate rhetorical positions behind which lie the framework of liberal capitalist ideology derived from colonialism.

  • February 14, 2012

    It is not true that 'nothing comes out of nothing', observes Dr Andrew Hass. 'Nothing', we might say, gets bad press, and deservedly. For nothing strips away, tears down, erases. And we want a positive society. Yet there is always a substantive way to render nothing, and make it work for something. We see this even in the claim that “nothing gets bad press”: differently construed, we also know that, in today’s media-saturated world, no matter how negative certain press coverage might be, no publicity is bad publicity.

  • January 25, 2012

    the most appropriate usage of the term ‘religious conversion’ seems to be – at best – as a descriptor of certain historical attempts to pursue a particular strategy of Christianisation, says Dr Michael Marten. In this form it is best put behind us, but it raises important questions about the contested nature of Christianity and its mission(s).

  • January 15, 2012

    It has been a momentous twelve months in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and in relation to developments popularly dubbed the 'Arab Spring' or (perhaps more helpfully) the 'Arab Awakening'. Time, we think, to stop for a moment and take stock.

  • December 1, 2011

    A good RE syllabus would allow young people to explore, without either naivety or unwarranted suspicion, how the world might look from different perspectives and to learn to think critically and with minds open to the possibilities as well as to the limitations and dangers of different political and cultural norms, says Alison Jasper. But how far the kind of organisations sponsoring the government's Free Schools is another question, she acknowledges.

  • December 1, 2011

    The spread of totalising, ostensibly rational strategic power through 'human resources management' and 'the performative aboslute', together with the imposition of complete transparency and the denial of trust, is a huge threat to humanity, says Professor Richard H. Roberts, looking back to, and beyond, Donna Haraway's feminist cyborg utopianism twenty years ago.