If there had been a poll at the conversation on 'A Good Society' in Edinburgh recently, there is no doubt that notions such as equality, justice, hospitality, empathy, sharing and neighbourliness would have been at the heart of people's answers. Simon Barrow listens in on a passionate exchange between people of faith and practical concern.
In a substantial address given at the launch of Just Festival 2013, Bishop John Armes explores the relationship between peace and justice, the struggle against poverty and exclusion, key themes in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and the challenge of particular global situations like the one in Zimbabwe. Dr Armes is also chairing a conversation on 'A Good Society' on Tuesday 20 August.
How can Christians and Muslims build closer relationships in the face of pressures from within and without their different communities, and in a world where religiously sanctioned conflict is often given high profile in the media?
There is an extraordinary elliptical quality to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, which has elevated the human spirit in both religious and non-religious terms over the centuries, says Simon Barrow, introducing a series of performances of the Cello Suites at Just Festival 2013.
Sacred Earth offers a singular vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and humanity - one that is under pressure or even threat in many parts of the globe at the moment. Welcoming the artistic production, Simon Barrow looks at the philosophy, art and indeed theology that may underpin a respect for the world and the relations embodied in it.
In recent years, practitioners engaged in the fields of mediation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding have begun to explore the role arts can play in helping communities to move from protracted conflict to just and sustainable peace. Theodora Hawksley reports on a significant research project in the area revolving around the potential and actual role of religion.