The narrative of the trial and execution of Jesus has been subject to centuries of creative re-interpretation, says Jill Segger. A Bach Passion performed in a Cambridge college chapel proved both exemplar of the vitality of the cultural hybrid and inspiration to revisit the source.
Quakers take pride in the history of nineteenth-century Quaker employers, many known for their progressive thinking. Some have suggested that they can now be a model for us in developing a form of "ethical capitalism". But the most forward-thinking nineteenth century Quakers called not for philanthropy but for fundamental change to the economic system. Their example can inspire us to reject capitalism altogether and to seek alternatives.
British Quakers have announced that they are calling for a boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is a brave decision, given the volume of abuse, hate mail and downright lies that faced the Methodist Church when they made a similar decision. With this in mind, there are important points that must be remembered about the Quakers' position.
Neither International Women's Day nor Ash Wednesday usually have any great significance for me, says Jill Segger. The Quaker belief that all days and times carry the sacred within them is usually sufficient. But this year, I am moved to consider it possible that I may have been mistaken.