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Research papers in the category Religion and Society.
On 15 October 2011, the Occupy LSX movement – having been prevented from occupying a space directly in the City of London among the offices of financial institutions – established a protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral under the banner ‘We are the 99 per cent’. The protestors have sought to articulate a frustration that resonates widely among both those who choose to protest and those who do not, regarding the inequalities in UK society and globally, and the responsibility of financial institutions to serve society. These concerns go far further than individual or even corporate responsibility and greed, raising questions about the whole structure of the global economy, together with the practical ethical and theological responsibilities of churches and Christian communities. In this briefing paper, David McNair, who is Principle Economic Justice Adviser for the UK-based global development agency Christian Aid (www.christianaid.org.uk/), outlines his responses to the questions and opportunities posed by Occupy LSX, around the epithetic challenge ‘My word is my bond’.
The Occupy London group is asking for a real debate in politics and economics, rather than the closed-down debate in Westminster politics and also the City of London. They are right so to do, because no real responses are coming from either, other than the ya-boo of the Commons and the “banking is complicated” of the City. This short paper raises an issue which both groups must address, says the author, if they are to have any integrity. The countries where major financial crises in sovereign debt have occurred in the West are also the ones which are most unequal in terms of the distribution of income and wealth. Author Alan Starkey is an economist and sociologist with a strong theological pedigree.
This short research paper maps out the contours of a revolution in Britain’s benefits and welfare system. But the evidence Karen McAndrew examines and evaluates indicates that, far from enabling and supporting sick and disabled people, the changes and cuts the UK government is making – disguised by a superficial rhetoric of compassion and empowerment, and eased by ungrounded prejudices stoked in sections of the media – are causing real harm and destroying the fabric of national care and genuine opportunity. Putting human impact centre stage, this paper sets out disturbing evidence that disabled people are being betrayed, the public misled, and the welfare system endangered. Here is yet more indication that the 'Big Society' is punishing the most vulnerable and eschewing social justice, by making cuts and implementing an inadequate patchwork of policies whereby under-resourced voluntarism cannot substitute for official, statutory neglect.
In the light of the massive cuts in public services being implemented by central and local government, there is increasing concern in many sectors of society about the expanding and damaging gap between rich and poor in Britain today. This paper sets out the case for making those living with poverty axial in decision-making about issues implicated in this division at all levels of society. It links to recent relevant research and makes a brief contribution concerning questions of power, viewpoint and orientation, mechanism and priority, and belief and theological orientation. To be expanded.
There has been a great deal of wild speculation about the character and consequences of so-called ‘democratic revolutions’ in the Middle East. In this short essay, international relations specialist John Heathershaw, pursuing a historically-grounded power analysis, argues that comparison with post-communist states sheds some light on what is happening and helps us identify both the hope and tragedy in ongoing events - not least from a Christian perspective that seeks to demand justice and practice nonviolence. He also contrasts principled and pragmatic approaches to nonviolent action, and discerns six parallels between the two waves of rebellion.
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