Simon Barrow's blog

Thinking differently about religion

Very frequently, discourse about religion - which, with the changes in perception taking place in the world over the past decade has come back onto the global and political agenda with great force - remains stuck in a series of un-enlightening polarities.

Scotland's future and social justice

The debate over options for Scotland's future is at the moment primarily focused on how, when, with what question(s) and on what terms the referendum around the constitution will take place.

Murdoch, phone hacking and the media at the STUC

Murdoch, phone hacking and the media at the STUC

Alongside a major emphasis on economy and jobs in a time of crisis (the special session this morning was entitled 'A Better Way') media issues are among the concerns being tackled at the 115th STUC (S

Rhetoric on poverty which does not add up to action

The rhetoric of some in government and some in the churches is not adding up in factual and practical terms, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu told the Church Urban Fund (CUF) 'Tackling Poverty' in Leeds today (18 April 2012).

Discussing morality fruitfully

Discussing morality fruitfully

This morning (14 April 2012) I will be appearing on BBC Radio Scotland's Saturday AM news programme at around 8.50am to discuss the origins and shape of morality with secular humanist scientist Profes

Evacuating religious power: foot-washing and altar-stripping

Evacuating religious power: foot-washing and altar-stripping

Two days ago, I had a fascinating conversation with a good friend of Ekklesia's - someone who, though not Christian, has a real and personal concern for spiritual journeying.

New Economy conference: live tweeting

New Economy conference: live tweeting

This morning the conference entitled 'The Eye of the Needle: Biblical Clues to a New Economy' begins in Bristol, co-sponsored by the Southwest churches and Ekklesia.

Budget: Underestimating the yield on the 50p top tax rate

Budget: Underestimating the yield on the 50p top tax rate

This morning (22 March 2012) Chancellor George Osborne is mainly taking stick for his so-called 'granny tax' - as the tabloids put it. That is the tax adjustments which mean that 4.41 million pensioners lose money and the Treasury claws back some £1.2 billion.

Rowan Williams: People before politics?

Time and again in the midst of "events, dear boy, events" (Harold Macmillan's famous response to an interrogation about what is the biggest difficulty in being Prime Minister), I keep coming back to Dutch theologian Harry Kuitert's observation that while "everything is politics, politics is not everything".

Encountering Simone Weil

I have recently watched Julia Haslett’s remarkable film, ‘An Encounter with Simone Weil’, and I know that my life will not be the same as a result. Not because I was previously unfamiliar with Weil, but because this particular meeting with her (or, at least, with what can be known through her writings and through the remaining fragments, images and testimonies to her life) is so deeply personal and challenging – in a way that doesn’t just go away.