Christians agree that the death and resurrection of Jesus is central to their faith. But as soon as we try to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’, it becomes much more difficult to articulate this belief. Alison Goodlad suggests that the evocation of poet R. S. Thomas is among the imaginative resources that construe meaning with vitality, while 'leaving the reason torn'.
The narrative of the trial and execution of Jesus has been subject to centuries of creative re-interpretation, says Jill Segger. A Bach Passion performed in a Cambridge college chapel proved both exemplar of the vitality of the cultural hybrid and inspiration to revisit the source.
Deir Zor, the felicitous little village in Syria which bore witness, a century ago, to the death march of hundreds and thousands of helpless victims of an organised genocide against Armenians, is in the news again. Arthur Hagopian reports from Jerusalem.
It is not the non-theistic philosophy that is dismaying in Grayling’s new 'secular bible', says Maggi dawn. It’s the sheer failure of imagination of someone who will dismiss the real Bible as mumbo jumbo, while putting their own uninspiring prose out there as an alternative.
A biblically-inspired fast is taking place in the USA, as Christians and Jews protest the way budget debate is sidelining the poor. Martin E. Marty reflects on a movement for justice with ancient roots and modern resonances.
One hundred years ago, nonconformity and nonresistance were hallmarks of Mennonites’ peace witness. Today, Mennonites are more actively engaged in society, and the pursuit of justice is an essential part of peacemaking. How did this change come about?
BBC 2’s series, 'The Bible’s Buried Secrets', offers intriguing thoughts, but perhaps not as controversial as some of the promotional material would have it, says Alison Jasper. The world of biblical scholarship is broad and hospitable to different interpretations. And arguably, it is the essentially unanswerable but fertile questions that remain the Bible’s real buried treasure.
‘Mothering’ referred to the mother Church in Jerusalem and returning to the church after breaking fast in Lent. But nowhere did it mean biological mothers, says Maggi Dawn. She suggests that the alternative idea of refreshment could be brought back into play.
Elizabeth Kassab is a scholar of philosophy, and taught for many years at the American University in Beirut and Balamand University in Lebanon. Here she is interviewed about the “Arab malaise” from a political, rather than cultural perspective, and in a post-colonial, rather than exceptionally Arab, context.
Questioning the coherence of the newly-initiated World Interfaith Harmony Week, Michael Marten says that if neither 'faith' nor 'religion' really serve as useful comparative or relational concepts, it is perhaps intellectually more honest, and practically more fruitful, to abandon the pretence of ‘interfaith’ dialogue in favour of simple ‘interhuman’ dialogue.
Is reconciliation realistic? Is it possible to reconcile groups with diverse or contradictory experiences and understanding of the world? The answer to this question depends on what we accept as “realistic”, says Andrew Suderman What is the true story that is being told? The Christian message is that it is ultimately God who reconciles, not us. Our task is to align ourselves with God's action in this respect.