The origins of Christianity are in a dynamic and free movement around Jesus, but much of its history is bound up with institutional religion, says Simon Barrow. The challenge is to continue to respond to the transformative impulse of the Gospel, even in the midst of organisation and complexity.
Cheaply produced (if expensive to consume), Sarah Palin is a popular commodity whose religious saleability is evidenced by the merchandise generated around her, says Jeremy Biles. He compares and contrasts this phenomenon with that of the destroyed 'Touchdown Jesus' statue and asks what the iconography of faith says about actual belief.
The Times newspaper has been running short pieces by Christian backers of the three big parties in Britain, getting them to say why Jesus might support their favoured political horse. Jonathan Bartley takes a rather different tack.
Jesus' affirmation of one woman's extravagant generosity and his comments about abiding poverty are not about forsaking justice for individualistic charity, says Simon Barrow. Quite the reverse. They signal the in-breaking of a new order of being and living in a divided world.
A theatre company has drawn heavy criticism for advertising for a “white male actor” to play the part of Jesus in a central London passion play. Critics have accused the company of ignoring the historical reality that Jesus was Palestinian.
The story of the Magi has touched the hearts and stirred the imagination of many through the ages, says Savi Hensman. But the story has a wry twist which does not flatter the religiously self-righteous.