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Research papers in the category Religion and Society.
This research and discussion paper, revised and re-issued in 2010, proposes that the figure of St George should be reclaimed according to his true, hidden story.
The earliest traditions of St George present him as a dissenter against the abuse of power, a contrast to religious crusades, a global figure we share with other nations, someone who offered hospitality to the vulnerable, and a champion of right rather than might.
This paper (originally entitled When the Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George for a new era) proposes that St George’s Day should be re-conceived and re-launched as a national day to celebrate - among other things - an English contribution to the history of freedom, justice and dissent.
We suggest that this should be based on the witness of people like the abolitionists, the suffragettes and those who have sought to combat racism, nationalism, debt, poverty, colonialism and war with the vision of a nation and world open to all - and a modern Britain / Europe of diverse peoples.
For the churches, we argue, St George can be a post-Christendom saint - one who takes us beyond 'the church of power', to the church of freedom and service. He is a Christian figure, but he does not ‘belong’ to Christians.
This means that, in his 'faithful nonconformity', the figure of St George invites the churches to become better followers of Jesus Christ - by abandoning reliance on a romanticised military past and (in the case of the Church of England) a legacy of Establishment privilege – and seeking a better way of equality, peace and justice.
A March 2010 opinion survey conducted by professional polling organisation ICM Research shows that the population of the UK is equally split over the importance of institutional religion in public life, but three-quarters of the public and 70 per cent of Christians believe it is wrong for bishops to have reserved places in the House of Lords.
This is a paper written by Noel Moules for the 'Body & Soul' weekend which takes place in London on 27-28 March 2010, run by Ekklesia partner Workshop (http://www.workshop.org.uk). The document explores Christian approaches to sexuality and sexual orientation, as well as looking at how appropriately to handle the theological tradition and biblical texts which relate to the debate. The author spent his formative years in India and has studied (and taught) theology and education. Through Workshop, which is open and evangelical in its grounding, with a particular concern for Anabaptist and peace church perspectives, "learners and teachers work to discover God amid uncertainty, mystery and paradox. We are sensitive to the differences between the various traditions of the church, and aim to increase understanding about the reasons behind the sincerely held opposing views."
An ongoing research, reporting and action project with a number of overlapping elements, including cooperation with academic and civic bodies. The aim is to work in conversation with others towards the development of an inclusive vision of secularity in the public square - one based on dialogue and free expression; a proper distinction between religious and public authorities; and maintaining a fair civic arena for the widest range of public actors, both religious and non-religious. [Fully revised January 2010; next revision due May 2011.]
Accord, whose founding members include Ekklesia, supports the Equality Bill currently going through the parliamentary process, but has concerns about some of its provisions as they impact (or fail to impact) on faith schools. This briefing concerns issues and amendments for the House of Lords Committee Stage of the Bill, which begins on 11 January 2010, with four subsequent days tabled before the end of the month. http://www.accordcoalition.org.uk/
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