In his final Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4, on Saturday 22 December 2012, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, talked about the recent killings in Connecticut and discounted the argument often put forward that "it's not guns that kill, it's people".
In today's world we face a vast range of human practices which are overlapping and do not function as religious or secular solely or discreetly, says Francis Stewart. He illustrates this in relation to his extensive research into punk music.
Digital democracy and the huge expansion of social media is transforming political action and diplomacy, says Dr Harry Hagopian, who has been expanding his own involvement in that arena, not least due to his regular podcasts on developments in the Middle East and North Africa. He looks especially at social media's impact in that region.
If Welby can hold on to his emphasis on enabling ‘ordinary’ Christians, and those of their neighbours who are seeking a more just and compassionate world, he can offer the kind of leadership needed at a time when idols have been falling, says Savi Hensman, a long-standing commentator on Anglican affairs and church and society issues.
Describing another personal Armenian-Turkish encounter, Dr Harry Hagopian feels that "it is important for us Armenians nearing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015 to start distinguishing ordinary Turkish men and women from Turkish officialdom or many of its politicised institutions let alone from Turkey and Azerbaijan."
In The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy, to be published on 25 October 2012, Aristotle Papanikolaou explores the question of whether Orthodox Christianity and liberal democracy are mutually exclusive worldviews.
Drawing on a public conversation at Edinburgh’s Festival of Spirituality and Peace on the theme ‘Disorganised Religion’ earlier this summer (2012), Michael Marten reflects on the nature of religion and the way it is morphing, changing and being challenged in the contemporary era.
In written documentation from colonial times many indigenous authors are not victims only, but innovative individuals, bringing together their own belief forms with Christian traditions and thus creating genres and contents of their own and for their own objectives, says Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar.
The final Festival of Spirituality conversation and Civic Cafe, The Power of Youth and Football to heal a Divided City, proved extremely rewarding, writes Katie MacFadyen. The issue of dealing with sectarianism and bigotry is something that should involve all of us.