Features

  • 15 Jun 2012

    There have always been prophets of doom, says Dr Andrew Hass. History is punctuated by exclamatory voices crying, in one form or other, that catastrophe is imminent or the end is nigh. Sometimes they are seen as 'crying wolf'. In relation to the current global financial crisis, the issue of capitalism as religion, who and what we hope for, the ethical probings of counter-wisdom, and the insights of Walter Benjamin and others come together potently in their interrogation of who we are and where we are going.

  • 13 Jun 2012

    This month, against a backdrop of severe ecological and financial crises, world governments are meeting in Rio, Brazil, trying to reach an agreement to secure a sustainable future for the planet and its people. Alex Green and Daniel Hale from Progressio explain why this matters, why urgent action is needed by governments, and how all of us can help shape and influence the Rio+20 process towards climate justice.

  • 10 Jun 2012

    The nationalisms represented in the Eurovision Song Contest the European Football Championships and the Queen's Jubilee are of different shapes and levels of intensity, observes Graeme Smith, editor of the international journal Political Theology. What Christianity at its best offers is a vision of how we hold local commitments in a wider, plural context: because of Pentecost, in fact.

  • 21 May 2012

    The belief that violence “saves” is so successful because it doesn’t seem to be mythic in the least. Violence simply appears to be the nature of things. It’s what works. It seems inevitable, the last and, often, the first resort in conflicts, says the late Professor Walter Wink. If a god is what you turn to when all else fails, violence certainly functions as a god. What people overlook, then, is the religious character of violence. It demands from its devotees an absolute obedience-unto-death. It requires a theological critique.

  • 17 May 2012

    Personality politics, half-baked solutions and populist pretensions by tired political fixers are being used to disguise real, significant problems with local government, says Graeme Smith. He hopes that the shallow rhetoric of ‘people know best’ can suffer a similar fate to that of elected mayors, in favour of renewed democracy and a decent appreciation of expert knowledge in its proper place.

  • 14 May 2012

    In the midst of significant, but not necessarily tectonic, changes across the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, what has happened to Palestine, a virtual state clothed with a real idea, which had been at the forefront of the political imagination of the Arab masses for long decades? Dr Harry Hagopian examines long standing questions and recent developments with an eye to addressing 'the elephant in the room' of MENA politics.

  • 08 May 2012

    A recent London discussion of Christian-Muslim relations illustrated in an enlivening way the need for developing conversation and exchange to take place at a number of levels, says Dr Harry Hagopian. Intellectuals and theologians can set the tone on key issues, but Christians and Muslims alike have a responsibility in communal, political and inter-prersonal engagements to deal truthfully, to confront prejudices, to speak out against faith-based discrimination and to tackle the roots of extremism wherever they are found.

  • 27 Apr 2012

    This week marks global remembrance of the 97th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. In an article that looks forward as well as back, Dr Harry Hagopian re-affirms the historical veracity of this genocide, not on the basis of presumed ethnic biases, but on the basis of the solid literature coming from international historians, organisations, scholars and lawyers - not least the International Association of Genocide Scholars. This confirms the horrid truth of forced deportations and massacres took place against Armenians of Turkish nationality (alongside Greeks, Assyrians and Nestorians) living in their homelands in Western Armenia during the ominous years of World War One. Out of recognition can spring hope, he suggests.

  • 19 Apr 2012

    Key aspects of Christian (and notably Christendom) tradition have been used to cement or justify women's oppression. But dismissing Christianity simply as something to be thankfully consigned to history means consigning all the achievements of women who have identified themselves as Christian alongside it, says Alison Jasper. From this perspective, all Christian women are victims if not collaborators. A rounder picture is needed.

  • 10 Apr 2012

    When governments are displaced they can persist within contemporary states as ‘religions’ that maintain their patriarchal origins and character, says Professor Naomi Goldenberg. Since women’s challenges to male domination have only met with some success in recent times within fairly contemporary forms of statecraft, if earlier states known as ‘religions’ are allowed too much authority over domains such as ‘the family’ or ‘the home,’ women will be the losers, she argues.