Simon Barrow's blog

Putting peace in the picture

Journalism has acquired a dubious reputation in recent years, not least as a result of the misbehaviour of large media corporations.

Distinguishing and relating religion and state in Scotland today

Distinguishing and relating religion and state in Scotland today

Scotland's faith communities have helped shape the Scotland we know today, many would contend.

Ian Berry: the pictures, the man behind the camera

Ian Berry: the pictures, the man behind the camera

Magnum photographer Ian Berry first set out to South Africa as a boy of 17 years, recording ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances.

Are we losing faith in the media?

That's an interesting and tantalisingly ambiguous question. Are we talking about the appearance of beliefs in an increasingly multi-platform world, the question of belief or otherwise in media values and performance, or some combination of the two?

Making sense of the new unrest

From anti-neoliberal protests around globalisation through to the Occupy movement, environmental direct action and mass anti-austerity demonstrations, there has been an explosion of grassroots activism that has moved in tandem with the wave of crises facing western-driven free market capitalism since 2008.

Thinking again about religion

Religion is a 'hot topic' one way or another. Some love it, some loathe it, many go meh... but you can't ignore the diverse belief mix that now makes up a modern plural society.

Israel-Palestine: reality of occupation, challenge of peace

Israel-Palestine: reality of occupation, challenge of peace

"Of course Israel has a right to exist... but with Palestine, not at the expense of the Palestinians." That was the message of an ecumenical accompanier speaking today (6th August 2013) at Just Festival in Edinburgh.

A conversation among creative and hopeful sceptics

A conversation among creative and hopeful sceptics

What would a conversation about religion among those who have abandoned it, or who are on the very edge of it, sound and feel like?

Changing the world: real conversation is the key

Changing the world: real conversation is the key

As the huge media coverage of internet abuse has made clear (not least the appalling targeting of women on Twitter and other social media platforms), when public conversation is debased, we all suffer - though those at the sharp end suffer most.

Just starting

Just starting

St John's Church in Edinburgh was packed last night (3 August 2013) for 'Just Starting', the opening event for Just Festival 2013, which attracted several hundred people.