As well as the expected vain pontificating and sabre-rattling, there has been a good deal of wise commentary on Syria, intervention and change in the past week or so -- seeking to get to grips with the hard politics of the situation, while not losing sight of the fact that it is suffering humanity (all of it, not just 'our' portion of it) that should always be the litmus test of effective action.
Premier Radio, the national Christian radio station, is beginning a new regular slot analysing the Middle East and North Africa with Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian – starting tonight (29 August 2013).
Those of us who live permanently in Edinburgh will be looking forward to getting our city back in the near future... though the friendly festival invasion undoubtedly brings life, colour, enjoyment, variety and friendship to the streets - and we very much hope that spirit is here to stay, both in the Athens of the North (as we like to style ourselves) and in the hearts and lives of all who have taken part.
As Archbishop Elias Chacour, a Palestinian and citizen of Israel who has struggled tirelessly and nonviolently for a just peace in the land has observed: a settlement in Israel-Palestine, which must offer security and recognition for all people, is not just about politics. It is about disarmed truth, and recognising in each other a wounded brother and sister, not an enemy or a threat.
As usual, Ekklesia has a number of associates and friends taking part in the Greenbelt Festival this weekend - including Workshop, the grassroots theological education initiative, and a variety of Christian peace and justice organisations.