Talmudic study opens the door to an understanding of obedience that does not crush the enquiring mind, says Giles Fraser. The text of Scripture, rightly understood, both questions us and affirms our questioning.
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 think-tanks Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform have sent and published an open letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, from Catholics and people brought up in the Catholic faith who support its teaching on social justice and who are deeply critical of the government’s treatment of vulnerable and disabled people.
Today (13 March 2015) 26 senior figures from various faith groups published a letter in The Times newspaper calling on the UK government to join with others “to develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a world free of nuclear weapons”. Steve Hucklesby, Policy Adviser for the Joint Public Issues Team of the Free Churches, provides the background to this initiative.