Try to imagine a world in which only things acceptable to pure reason are deemed legitimate, suggests Giles Fraser. It would be to imagine the most desperately impoverished cultural and emotional (let alone spiritual) desert.
Cynicism about politicians and political institutions runs very deep, says Terry Waite. But the current crisis is also an opportunity for change, for reinvesting politics with hope and the participation of people from outside 'the party system'.
The Church of England has for too long been slow to take its own ethnic diversity to its heart, says Vasantha Gnanadoss. If it now also claims that Christianity is superior to others it could be unwittingly supporting white nationalism and undermining action against the BNP and others.
When people hear the word 'health' they think immediately of medical matters, says Juan Michel. But health is also an issue of clean drinking water, nutritious food, a safe work environment and essential care accessible at the community level - not least in a time of flu panics.
Few words are bandied about with such casual abandon as “liberal”, says Giles Fraser. It can stand for the liberality and generosity vital to any outlook, but it can also mean an exulting of individualism and a damaging denial of inherited wisdom.
Many who have committed their lives to working for change and justice in the world simply dismiss Jesus' teachings about nonviolence as impractical idealism, says Walter Wink. This is because they have not understood their true subversive nature and context.
Like many Palestinians living in occupied territory, the Nassars have endured harassment, threats and attacks from nearby settlers, says Emma Halgren. But their response, and that of others, has challenged the cycle of hatred and violence.
The debate about faith schools is often polarised into a simple pro- and anti- issues, says Rabbi Jonathan Romain. The Accord Coalition is seeking to break fresh ground on practical reform and unite people across the supposed religious-secular divide.
The managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine recently went to Damascus, where he interviewed President Bashar al-Assad. Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian assesses where the president stands in the tragic and bloody mess that exists in Syria at the moment, where ordinary people are caught between competing barbarisms.
Action of the World Council of Churches more than four decades ago raised the profile of environmental issues, and in the process helping to galvanise the ecological movement in communist East Germany, says Ekklesia associate Dr Stephen Brown. This became the soil for the independent ecology groups in the 1980s as one of the forms of dissent that culminated in East Germany’s 1989 peaceful revolution.