Features

  • 19 Dec 2012

    At the end of a recent speech to the Centre for Social Justice, John Cruddas MP made a rightful appeal for extended local democracy, says political theologian Graeme Smith. But he got there by caricaturing John Stuart Mill, mystifying Aristotle and elevating a confused communitarianism over the proper role of a democratic state in embedding social justice. This warmed-over Blue Labourism needs some serious questioning in terms of its historical understanding and political roots, he suggests.

  • 18 Dec 2012

    What are some of the implications of the discussion of critical religion for feminist and gender theory making? The gendered binaries of spiritual/material or spirit/flesh still haunt us, says Dr Alison Jasper, in the tendency to regard women and the female as better fitted for certain roles that tend to be less well rewarded in terms of money and influence.

  • 18 Dec 2012

    It is widely acknowledged among those who still care that academia in the UK is in very serious trouble, says Dr Michael Marten from the University of Stirling. The most infamous embodiment of the current malaise is a mechanism imposed upon universities by successive Westminster governments: a system of ‘research assessment’ driven by an ideology of neo-liberal commodification. Alternative perspectives and mechanisms are badly needed, he says.

  • 15 Dec 2012

    The invisibility and silence on the trans aspect of the government's equal marriage proposals highlights the reductionist arguments of some of the pressure groups and the way that the debate is more complex than they wish to acknowledge, says Sally Rush. This silence is symptomatic of the everyday marginalisation, invisibility and misunderstanding trans people face within the media and wider society. It needs to be broken, just as the discrimination currently enshrined in law needs to be removed.

  • 3 Dec 2012

    Hannah Brock explains how people in the UK have begun an informal network to campaign alongside Israelis and Palestinians who oppose a military college on the Mount of Olives.

  • 3 Dec 2012

    Dr Harry Hagopian suggests that a recent letter to the UK Foreign Secretary from two senior bishops opens up some fruitful lines of investigation in understanding, and seeking solutions to, a long-standing grievance in the Middle East.

  • 3 Dec 2012

    The work of scholars in critical religion may indeed concentrate on the semantics of 'religion', but this is far from being 'merely' an academic issue, points out Gabrielle Desmarais from the University of Ottawa. The meaning of the word 'religion' and the language used to regulate that definition are at the forefront of a range of constitutional cases about new religious movements.

  • 23 Nov 2012

    Becoming a bishop is definitely not on my bucket list, writes the Rev Dr Jane Tillier. But she had hoped soon to see some of her gifted and experienced women colleagues take their place alongside the men in the currently all-male House of Bishops. We need to see men and women working together, she argues. Male and female made in the image of God and serving the loving, revolutionary, redemptive purposes of Jesus Christ in whom, the Bible tells us, “there is neither male nor female”.

  • 21 Nov 2012

    The recent decision of the Church of England not to admit women as bishops is a moment of clarity. It is a lifting of a veil, an opportunity to see things as they really are, suggests Dr Fran Porter. For what has been – and continues to be – at the heart of the disagreement, is the Church of England’s attitude to women. And not just to its own female members, but to all women.

  • 15 Nov 2012

    The US Presidential election was a disaster for the religious right, which had again tied its faith to the partisan political agenda of the Republican Party, says Jim Wallis, CEO of the progressive evangelical Sojourners magazine and movement. Research into shifting populations and voting patterns shows why the religious right’s leaders will no longer be able to control or easily co-opt the meaning of the term “evangelical,” he argues. There is a new, diverse coalition for a new America emerging, and a changing evangelical demographic is a central part of that.