Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.
Well over two decades ago, one of my favourite university tutors in family law often delighted in reminding me of an expression that Charles Dickens had popularised in Oliver Twist. Was it not Bumble who had professed to Brownlow that the law is an ass - or to be more faithful to 19th century diction, "The law is a ass - a idiot [sic]"?
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.
Supporters of far-right candidate Narendra Modi have condemned a college principal for speaking up for justice and the environment during India’s parliamentary election. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the Electoral Commission about Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier’s College and a Jesuit priest.
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.
April 24th saw another chapter in the difficult world of Armenian-Turkish relations 99 years after a horrible chapter in their shared history - the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which for some evokes inextinguishable pain and for others denial. Commentator and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian re-examines the complex issues and looks at the way forward.
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.