An important event on (Mis-)representing Cultures and Objects is taking place at the University of Stirling, Scotland, on 16 May 2014. It highlights issues and concerns touching on ethnography, culture and religion in a postcolonial context.
As Ekklesia's 2007 report "When the Saints Go Marching Out', reissued in 2010 (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/11944) pointed out, and as others have subsequently affirmed, St George is not primarily "an English Saint", as popular assumption has it, but a Middle Eastern one with international, multicultural associations and a founding story about resistance to the persecutory impulse of Empire.
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.
Two independent researchers whose work is greatly valued by Ekklesia are among the presenters at the British Sociological Association conference 2014, ‘Changing Society’, taking place at the University of Leeds from 23-25 April.
The Rev Jim Cotter died early in Holy Week. Jim was known to many thousands of people through his books, articles, personal struggles, ministry, public speaking and spiritual direction over the years. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow remembers him with gratitude, highlighting the connection between his life and that of one of his spiritual and wordsmithing mentors, the great Welsh poet R. S. Thomas.
The University and College Union (UCU) in Scotland has responded to the report by Rashida Manjoo, a United Nations human rights expert and rapporteur, who says Britain's sexist culture is more 'pervasive' and 'in your face' than any other country she has visited, by getting the backing of unions across Scotland for action on campuses.
There is an intense debate about Religious Education in schools today. What about Theology and Religious Studies in university departments? Graeme Smith, who teaches public theology and the University of Chichester, looks at what the discipline involves. What does this mean for the MPs and others scrutinising from the outside? "Well I suspect that when they do come calling we shall have some questions for them as well," says Dr Smith.