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Research papers in the category Religion and Society.
The Equality Bill 2008-2009, which will extend both to England and Wales, and to Scotland, covers age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It also requires public authorities to do more to tackle the effects of socio-economic disadvantage. The Bill has received a hostile response among some religious groups, while the response of the large churches (including the Church of England) has been to welcome its principal aims while contesting aspects of its detail - particularly in terms of lobbying for opt-outs and provisions which would allow continued discrimination on grounds of sexuality and gender by faith bodies on grounds of 'upholding beliefs'. In this paper, Savitri Hensman assesses the issues and suggests that the churches need to move forward positively, on theological and practical grounds, in affirming comprehensive equalities in the public sphere. She also tackles the harm that discrimination and inequality causes, not least to the most vulnerable and those suffering prejudice.
The Church of England has huge assets as well as large responsibilities. In 2009 it lost £1.3 billion through its investments in shares and property. In April 2011 it announced that its assets increased in 2010 from £4.8 billion to £5.3 billion. This paper looks at some of the difficulties and contradictions of the Church's investment and finance policy, particularly the dislocation of financial decision making from integral mission and economic justice, which is both practically and theologically deficient. Acknowledging both the good intentions towards ethical practice and the constraints imposed by the legal and Established framework of the C of E, the paper argues that for Christian churches, economics needs to be re-located in the subversive and alternative calling of a Gospel community in an unjust world. It suggests there are many positive ways forward. The paper is authored by Jonathan Bartley and Simon Barrow.
A survey commissioned by Ekklesia, and carried out my ComRes at the height of the MP's expenses scandal to ascertain attitudes and opinions regarding the role of independent candidates and MPs and under what conditions the public would vote for them.
Over the past eleven years, the British government has passed a number of laws that specifically tackle, or include directly in their provisions, protection of the freedom of ‘religion or belief’ – based on the right to hold or not to hold religious or other philosophical beliefs. This paper looks specifically at how ‘religion or belief’ is defined, particularly in relation to the Equality Act 2006 / 2007, and locates this within the wider policy-led and academic attempts to define ‘religion’. Looking at some of the implications of the definitions applied, it goes on to summarise key elements of current law on non-discrimination, drawing on public sources and examples from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Nothing in this background paper constitutes legal advice or should be read as constituting such advice. If you have legal questions or requirements, please consult a qualified lawyer.
In 2009 we mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the pioneering naturalist who posited the common descent of all species through evolution by natural selection – a discovery that has become foundational to the remarkable progress of the modern biological sciences, most recently in the arena of genomics. In this paper, reproduced courtesy of the International Society for Science and Religion (http://www.issr.org.uk/), one of the world’s leading historians of science - who is also actively involved in science-religion discussions - gives an overview of Darwin’s interactions with religion and belief. This essay forms a useful context and corrective to some of the zealous material seeking to ‘rescue’ or ‘advocate’ Darwin in relation to different religious and non- or anti-religious outlooks. There is also bibliographical and web material on issues related to evolution and belief, especially Christianity.
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