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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.
Many faith communities are officially committed to human rights for all. Yet in practice, some of their leaders may be strongly opposed. Since 1948 Christians have played a significant role in extending personal and societal respect for human dignity. At the same time, church leaders have also questioned and denied rights-based precepts and practices in a number of instances. In this paper, Savitri Hensman traces these discontinuities while pointing to the substantial traditional theological and spiritual resources that can be deployed in producing and developing shared commitments to freedom and justice. The publication of this document coincides with the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Egypt from 1-4 February 2009, the upcoming Church of England General Synod discussion on the Human Rights Act, the Convention on Modern Liberty in the UK, and recent comments on human rights from the Vatican, from Evangelicals and from the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. In a church contexts, arguments about sexuality are significant because they highlight the extent to which protagonists are, or are not, willing to extend equal recognition and rights to those who are 'other', or with whose lifestyle they disagree.
Remembrance day: Goodbye to all that Guardian leader based on Ekklesia's 2009 report Reimagining Remembrance
Voters turn on main parties, Independent front page, reporting Ekklesia's survey results on independent politics, during the scandal over MP's expenses
Rebranding St George, The Times about Ekklesia's 2008 report on British identity
The Daily Telegraph on Ekklesia's 2007 proposals that the symbols we use to remember war, should involve those symbolising a commitment to peace
Guardian education features Ekklesia's 2006 report on alleged marginalisation of religion in universities, and proposals for addressing it
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