At the beginning of the first volume of Selena Axelrod Winsnes' English translation of Danish sources on West African history, originally published from 1697 to 1822, there is a reproduction of the opening text from a slave ship captain's log. It records the commencing of a journey "In the Name of Jesus."
The current ills of the Western church are more to be found in sickness within than in threats without, suggests Simon Barrow, echoing a recent landmark comment from the Pope. Likewise the way forward is through radical reformation not fearful reaction.
Theologian John Milbank's endorsement of British Prime Minister David Cameron's 'Big Society' project, and his attempt to baptise it with pro-Christendom rhetoric has more to do with timid conformity than 'Radical Orthodoxy, suggests fellow academic Steven Shakespeare - one of the founders of the Common Wealth network of Christians for economic and social justice.
Today is the Feast of Christ the King. After days of wall-to-wall media coverage about royalty, churches across Britain have today celebrated Jesus Christ as the true king. This is a truly subversive claim.
"Sex and violence" is a hot-button phrase that if often used without thinking. But what do sex and violence really have to do with one another? Christians should be untangling the connection between them, but instead we seem to be contributing to the confusion.
Today and tomorrow, 27 & 28 October, are key dates in Christian history. Constantine's 'vision of the Cross' in 312, and his attribution of military victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge the next day to God, was the beginning of Christendom in Europe - an era which mixed civilisation with bloodshed, saints with militarism, and faith with often brutal sacralised-secular power.
The problem for Christians today is not primarily 'aggressive secularism', but the confusion of Christianity with power, says Simon Barrow. That and the the distortion of public debate about religiosity and secularity into a false dichotomy between dominating belief or privatised belief. A better way is needed - based on living by example, not the lust for control.
Many progressive Christians found themselves experiencing profoundly mixed feelings both about Pope Benedict’s visit and about the protests against it, says Simon Barrow. This is perhaps because neither imperial religion nor rejectionist forms of secularism are adequate to the task of remaking public life and public faith.
If you've ever campaigned for political change you've probably had someone tell you to “live in the real world”. But witnessing to the truth that Jesus taught involves acting in accordance with the realities our society denies.