Features

  • 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.

  • 11 Sep 2012

    A popular educational website raises questions for Timothy Fitzgerald about the theoretical and methodological problems in isolating and defining a domain of politics or political science in the first place.

  • 11 Aug 2012

    The dismissal of whole sections of society as comparatively worthless by politicians and the media seems bad enough, but in a recent radio discussion about global population growth, the term ‘useless eaters’ was used, says Berandette Meaden. This chilling phrase is used by some people to refer to anybody who consumes resources without producing any. A dangerous philosophy is being created on this basis. It stigmatises disabled people, the poor and many more besides.

  • 29 Jun 2012

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, argued in his recent Magna Carta lecture against the idea of a fully elected second chamber at Westminster. As the debate about Lords reform continues, political theologian Graeme Smith seeks to show why the Archbishop is wrong to put his faith in an oligarchic form of democracy rather than one based on full electoral accountability.

  • 22 Jun 2012

    You have read the newspaper and web headlines already. The world’s media has declared the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, an embarrassing failure. But, asks Daniel Hale, who headed up the Rio delegation for NGO Progressio, is that all there is to be said? And where do we look from here?