Features

  • 27 Apr 2012

    This week marks global remembrance of the 97th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. In an article that looks forward as well as back, Dr Harry Hagopian re-affirms the historical veracity of this genocide, not on the basis of presumed ethnic biases, but on the basis of the solid literature coming from international historians, organisations, scholars and lawyers - not least the International Association of Genocide Scholars. This confirms the horrid truth of forced deportations and massacres took place against Armenians of Turkish nationality (alongside Greeks, Assyrians and Nestorians) living in their homelands in Western Armenia during the ominous years of World War One. Out of recognition can spring hope, he suggests.

  • 19 Apr 2012

    Key aspects of Christian (and notably Christendom) tradition have been used to cement or justify women's oppression. But dismissing Christianity simply as something to be thankfully consigned to history means consigning all the achievements of women who have identified themselves as Christian alongside it, says Alison Jasper. From this perspective, all Christian women are victims if not collaborators. A rounder picture is needed.

  • 10 Apr 2012

    When governments are displaced they can persist within contemporary states as ‘religions’ that maintain their patriarchal origins and character, says Professor Naomi Goldenberg. Since women’s challenges to male domination have only met with some success in recent times within fairly contemporary forms of statecraft, if earlier states known as ‘religions’ are allowed too much authority over domains such as ‘the family’ or ‘the home,’ women will be the losers, she argues.

  • 6 Apr 2012

    “Egypt isn't a country we live in, but a country that lives within us” is a renowned saying from the late Pope Shenouda III. Following his death and questions about succession to his role, says Dr Harry Hagopian, the question now is whether Egypt will continue living within the Copts, and more pertinently how. This involves complex political, cultural, social and religious issues.

  • 2 Apr 2012

    What seems to have crystallised as the key to Archbishop Rowan Williams’ recent (somewhat early) resignation from his job, and as head of the global Anglican Communion, is the issue of sexuality. But, Alison Jasper suggests, this is part of a wider matrix of power and position connected to the deployment of the discursive category ‘religion’ and to the secular state acquiring a normative status.

  • 27 Mar 2012

    The region Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region - Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Morocco, Yemen and many others - is a tinderbox ready to be set ablaze, says Dr Harry Hagopian. So can the collective wisdom of the international community overcome its short-term stratagems and leap forward with political determination? Or will the haunting predictions of a well-placed Syrian activist from Homs who wryly suggested that we are in for a decade of sporadic and prolonged civil wars indeed come true? The stakes are high in Syria and beyond.

  • 26 Mar 2012

    It is almost a truism to note that if the mainstream media is our only source of news regarding anything to do with religion (however that might be conceived) in the Middle East, or even the Middle East in general, we are in deep trouble, says Dr Michael Marten. Here he analyses some of the major misunderstandings, urging the BBC and others to 'up their game' and to have the courage to address difficult and contentious issues appropriately.

  • 23 Mar 2012

    'Church leaders' are easily (if not inevitably) mired in politics, expectation and institutional intrigued. Those that shine through do so because of the pre-eminent qualities of love, commitment and example. This is one of the personal lesson Dr Harry Hagopian draws from the life of Pope Shenouda III, the highly respected Coptic Orthodox leader, who died recently.

  • 18 Mar 2012

    The next Archbishop will be chosen by the great and the good, sprinkled with some local diocesan worthies, observes Graeme Smith. They will weigh up the diverse and competing needs of the Church of England, the Anglican Communion, the British State, and the diocese of Canterbury. They will receive submissions, take soundings and consult widely before reaching their considered opinion. But is not a less oligarchical and hierarchical way forward possible?

  • 15 Mar 2012

    Tammy Semede, part of the Occupy movement, who met regularly with representatives from St Paul's prior to the recent eviction in London, reflects on the way the cathedral behaved and illustrates the disillusionment that this has caused among a good number of people who had hoped for properly Christian behaviour from a Christian institution.