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Research papers in the category Sex and Gender.
On 10 December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet 65 years later, human rights abuses are still widespread. Faith groups and other people of goodwill have much to do if “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” is to be achieved. This Ekklesia briefing by Savitri Hensman looks at how human rights are defended and extended, not least from a faith perspective, and what they mean for us in a changing, globalised world. Reference is made specifically to UK-related issues, including poverty and disability.
The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement has published its second report on Part 2 of the Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill 2013-14 on 10 December 2013. It follows extensive consultations in England, Scotland and Wales. Ekklesia is a registered supporter of the Commission. We support its general approach and findings, while sharing significant doubts as to whether the Lobbying Bill, which we believe to be unjust and undemocratic in its present form, can be rendered fit for purpose in time for the 2015 election.
In November 2012 The People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment was published by the Spartacus network of disability researchers and campaigners.
This supplementary report, which Ekklesia is pleased to make available and endorse, contains further compelling evidence of the need for change.
After introducing the issues and the annual reviews of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), it documents the reality for those directly impacted: deaths and suicides; accounts from MPs and advisers; the direct experience of sick and disabled people; views expressed by medical and other professionals; opinions from public bodies,;views expressed by Church leaders; and views expressed by charities and Disabled People’s Organisations.
The report then looks at the policy context: the UK’s human rights obligations under UN conventions; monitoring of standards; the financial cost of the WCA; contractual and audit issues; work-related obligations and sanctions; training of WCA assessors; progress on the audio recording of assessments; the long-delayed 'Gold Standard' Evidence Based Review; the Court of Appeal ruling that the WCA is discriminatory; a final summary and conclusion. (72pp., PDF format)
The Fair Admissions Campaign, of which Ekklesia is a member, has published groundbreaking research into the extent of religious and socio-economic selection in state-funded English secondary schools, and its effect on social and ethnic inclusion. The data is made available in map form, along with a detailed briefing.
It is clear that Christians hold a spectrum of views on sexuality and marriage. However, the popular idea that there are two warring blocks that may be labelled ‘traditionalists’ and ‘revisionists’ is simplistic and can be misleading as well as unhelpful. Current tensions could be reduced and reframed significantly if more church leaders acknowledged the extent of common ground in the middle of this continuum, allowed limited flexibility of practice, and enabled their communities to develop practices of discernment oriented towards the “grace and truth” (John 1.13-15) that lies at the heart of the Christian message. In this paper, Ekklesia associate Savitri Hensman identifies seven widely held positions on sexuality. She suggests that those with supposedly diametrically opposing views often have more in common than they may at first think. Equally, she argues, in Christian terms, that coexistence among those sharing a 'middle ground' is not about weak compromise, but instead reflects an approach both deeply rooted in Bible and tradition and open to change as a living community led by the Spirit.
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