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.
In different ways, Religious Studies and theology, says Professor Richard H. Roberts, have the capacity to make intelligently accessible ways of doing things that are as ancient and as important to humankind as the making of music.
That senior US politician Newt Gingrich tried to be forgiven for his infidelities while using “patriotism” and “overworking” excuses is what leads many to see a usually serious act turning out to have been rather comic, says Martin Marty, reporting on the media response in North America.
Currently on display at the Chicago Cultural Center are Vivian Maier’s street photographs, which are generating enormous excitement not only in Chicago, but internationally. Jeremy Biles explores their aesthetic, meaning, and significance in terms of Evelyn Underhill's mysticism.
We are likely to understand situations like the recent cairo protests more readily by examining the social and political pressures involved for both the protesters and the security forces, says Michael Marten - rather than seeking to make broad statements equating Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices.