We can only guess what was going through the minds of Martin McGuiness and Elizabeth Windsor as they shook hands in Belfast last week. Several commentators recognised the symbolism of a painful process of reconciliation. Lessons from Northern Ireland about the futility of violence need to be applied in other parts of the world, and in other areas of life.
The nationalisms represented in the Eurovision Song Contest the European Football Championships and the Queen's Jubilee are of different shapes and levels of intensity, observes Graeme Smith, editor of the international journal Political Theology. What Christianity at its best offers is a vision of how we hold local commitments in a wider, plural context: because of Pentecost, in fact.
Almost thirty years ago, I went to the Yorkshire Dales with a group of friends to undertake an ascent of the Three Peaks. Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough make for a stiff day's walking. But we were very young and the challenge of quantity was more significant to us than the quality of more leisured ascent.