Features

  • 02 Jan 2013

    It is not possible to predict with any sense of certainty how affairs will develop across the Middle East and North Africa region in 2013. What can be seen, writes regional analyst Dr Harry Hagopian, is that we are in the midst of a grand reshaping of all the regional assumptions that have stood for almost a generation. Something has made the pulse of this region race faster, and that cannot be undone. Now, we are seeking the calm in eye of the storm, and we will possibly do so for some time to come.

  • 27 Dec 2012

    How does God communicate with us when words are not adequate? How can we even try to talk of God when literal language so lets us down? Mark Wakelin, President of the Methodist Conference, says that the whole point of the Christmas story is to show us that the God of Jesus Christ is disclosed in humanity, vulnerability and personalness, rather than abstract theory or proposition. Like love, this calls for a personal and social response within the life of the world.

  • 27 Dec 2012

    Many thousands of disabled people with serious musculo-skeletal conditions, serious heart conditions or respiratory difficulties, cerebral palsy, neurological conditions such as MS and ME and many more will no longer benefit from the Motability vehicle scheme under new government proposals, writes Jane Young. Their car will simply be taken away before they have a chance to appeal. In this article she explains what is happening under proposals for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and how concerned individuals and organisations can respond.

  • 24 Dec 2012

    The critical religion school has taught us to see the colonial invention of world religions and their relegation to private space, says Alex Henley from the University of Manchester. But an emphasis on the bulldozing force of secular colonial power may obscure the resilience of local histories. This article is a reflection on a recent workshop discussion with Professor Ahmed Ragab and Dr Aria Nakissa at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

  • 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.

  • 03 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.

  • 03 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.