Features

  • 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.

  • 11 Nov 2012

    Good science-based predictions are powerful, says Graeme Smith, Reader in Public Theology at the University of Chichester. But given that politics is a human activity, he disagrees with Rorty that those in the humanities cannot do it as well. Turning humanities-based soothsayer for a moment, Dr Smith sets out the reasons why he thinks that the Labour Party will (just) form the next government at Westminster, concluding: "you read it here first."

  • 09 Nov 2012

    To coincide with the launch of the new Critical Religion Association website, Dr Timothy Fitzgerald, Reader in Languages, Cultures and Religions at the University of Stirling, reflects on the broadening of Critical Religion's work and perspective. Critiquing the beliefs-systems of self-regulating markets is a key way of interrogating and re-understanding the discursive spaces marked out by the terms 'religion' and 'politics', he suggests. [Ekklesia is a partner of the CRA]

  • 02 Nov 2012

    Back in September, there were expressions across the world of what was dubbed 'Muslim rage' by the media, following the tawdry trailer for a film entitled 'Innocence of Muslims' ostensibly intended to defame the Muslim prophet Muhammad and insult the ummah of Islam worldwide. But Dr Harry Hagopian paints a much deeper and wider picture of Muslim discontents and provocations experienced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Challenging simplistic 'clash of civilisations' theses, he says that what we need is not further disengagement between peoples and cultures, but rather further re-engagement.

  • 02 Nov 2012

    Most people in America, whether they are religious or not, prefer consistency in the faith community to hypocrisy, says Jim Wallis. One of the reasons the fastest growing demographic in religious affiliation surveys is now “none of the above” is that too many people see more religious hypocrisy than consistency. In this reflection, the CEO of of Sojourners in the USA argues that evangelicals, in particular, are apt to get their values in a muddle in the political arena, not least by ignoring or sidelining the huge biblical emphasis on concern for the poor and vulnerable as a criterion for looking at the impact of human endeavour.

  • 26 Oct 2012

    The experience of being a new Facebook user prompts wider and deeper thoughts on 'friending', community and privacy for theologian Graeme Smith. Despite the promises of heavenly or earthly paradises made by ardent followers of this or that religious or political cause, all will become hellish if pluralism and therefore privacy is not protected and enhanced, he suggests.

  • 09 Oct 2012

    In this provocative reflection, Timothy Fitzgerald explains why he has become sceptical about the idea of a universal domain of politics, and what it means to claim that such a world exists. He begins to suggest that ‘the world of politics’ is as much a faith-imaginary as those beliefs typically attributed to ‘the world of religion’. Its questionable status is demonstrated by an ideological illusion that Fitzgerald looks at in his recent book, Religion and Politics in International Relations: the Modern Myth (Continuum, 2011). To be continued.

  • 09 Oct 2012

    As we approach the first anniversary of the St Paul's protests it saddens Giles Fraser, former canon there, that the Church of England's reaction to Occupy was so reminiscent of its reaction to Chartism. In both cases, popular protest was dismissed as incoherent and unsuccessful, as the Archbishop of canterbury recently suggested about Occupy.