Columns

  • 31 Oct 2013

    The tenth assembly of the World Council of Churches, like many ecumenical gatherings, is facing strong opposition and criticism from fundamentalist-style Christian groups, notes Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. The answer this is not to adopt the mindset and rejectionism of our opponents, but to engage with with difference and “otherness” however difficult and challenging that might be.

  • 28 Oct 2013

    This is a time to be both politically and practically subversive in the face of a growing political consensus that is hurting the most vulnerable, says Jonathan Bartley. All of the main parties in the UK, including Labour, support the cut in housing benefit. Labour has said that it would not reverse it - or, indeed, most of the other welfare reforms - should it gain power at the next election. In the face of such a negative consensus, new social housing could become a central weapon in the Churches' fight to protect the poorest.

  • 31 Aug 2013

    Within hours of publication, the Obama administration's documentation on Syria has been criticised for its lack of verifiable detail.

  • 27 Aug 2013

    According to the US state department, a strike on Syria could come "within days" as military assets are "ready to go". Simon Barrow looks at what underlies both the accusations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the current US-driven fervour for another military intervention in the troubled region.

  • 19 Aug 2013

    The issue of what constitutes 'the good', in persons, in relationships and in society is an interesting one. It is far less straightforward than many assume, says Simon Barrow. He highlights the importance of theology, and the Christian doctrine of God in particular, for appreciating how we arrive at 'goodness', and how we develop an ethic based on communal virtue in the church and beyond.

  • 10 Aug 2013

    For the enrichment and development of plural public education on the one hand, and healthy faith communities on the other, it is necessary that the distinction between the two - as well as their need to converse and cooperate - is understood and put into operation, says Simon Barrow. That is why community schooling for all is so important.

  • 9 Aug 2013

    What is the relationship between arts in the broadest sense, and change in the broadest sense (social, personal, cultural, political and economic)? Simon Barrow reports on a transformative conversation between practitioners and participants.

  • 7 Aug 2013

    It has often been said that there ought to be no such thing as an 'illegal' human being. Yet this language is used frequently and potently in relation to migration. Simon Barrow previews a film that looks at the issue from a human and historical point of view.

  • 5 Aug 2013

    Twenty years ago, many public commentators believed that religion was dead, or at least 'on the way out'. How wrong that proved. Simon Barrow looks at how the conversation about faith is deepening and broadening in the face of growing religious and non-religious diversity.

  • 17 Jun 2013

    In many churches today, hymns have been largely or wholly replaced by worship songs. Some of these are of high quality and accessible to a wider range of worshippers. However, says Savitri Hensman, perhaps there should be more discussion of how this trend may influence the ways in which Christians relate to the Bible and understand themselves, God and the world.