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Research papers in the category Religion and Society.
The nightly news in Britain about the 'migrant crisis' (using language that is both confused and misleading) was sparked by developments and images from Calais. But the economic, political, environmental and conflict / human rights background of forced people movements, displacement and refugees is often absent or suppressed in panic-driven reporting. In this short and pointed paper, Ekklesia associate and board member Vaughan Jones, who has considerable professional experience in the field, offers an alternative perspective and prospectus for a humane, informed and positive approach to these issues.
In June 2015, Ekklesia published Bishop David Atkinson's paper, 'Climate change and the Christian gospel', which partly prefigured Pope Francis' groundbreaking encyclical on environment and poverty. Here Bishop Atkinson responds as both a theologian and a scientist to a recent Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) paper which accuses the encyclical of being "well-meaning but somewhat naïve”.
As part of its contribution to promoting positive approaches to issues of economy, sustainability, peace and community renewal in relation to the 2015 General Election, Ekklesia developed a set of ten values and principles which we used to assess the claims of competing parties and candidates, and promoted as tools of engagement and discussion. The exercise has now been repeated for each of the contenders in the UK Labour leadership election. This paper, by Virginia Moffatt and Simon Barrow, also situates the debate around Labour in a wider political and social context, looking at the need for a fundamental shift in discourse and action for a more just society and for a politics grounded in civic action and participation.
By any measure, climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing our planet right now. Pope Francis' new encyclical about care for 'our common home' is directed both to the churches and humanity as a whole. In recent years, Christian communities in different parts of the world have started responding practically and theologically to the alarming picture being presented to us by climate science. That is encouraging. But as Bishop David Atkinson points out in this timely paper, there is a need for much more action. Care for the earth, which is God’s gift, should be a primary concern for Christians, people of other faiths, and everyone of good faith. Politicians need to be persuaded to act more decisively by the example of people across civil society, not least in the churches. This is not a Christian 'add on', but a core Gospel concern. Church communities across the British and Irish isles are called on to act with thoughtfulness, commitment and urgency.
Ekklesia’s General Election 2015 focus paper, ‘Vote for What You Believe In’, outlined ten core value-based principles that we feel are important for voters to consider when voting on 7 May. Party manifestos are documents with varying amounts of detail. We have taken the time to review the key points in each of seven parties' presentations to the electorate to see how well they reflect the core values and principles identified by Ekklesia in relation to establishing a socially just, more equal, peaceful and economically and environmentally sustainable society. Included are assessments of the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party and UKIP manifestos – with reference to others. This material is also about holding politicians to account after the election.
Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change by Simon Barrow (Ed)
The Subversive Manifesto: Lifting the Lid on God's Political Agenda by Jonathan Bartley
Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy by Jonathan Bartley
Consuming Passion: Why the Killing of Jesus Really Matters by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley (Eds)
Threatened with Resurrection: The Difficult Peace of Christ by Simon Barrow