Disputes over truth are often presented as examples of a clash between religion and science. Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church is frequently talked about in this way, as are more recent controversies about evolution and creationionism. But an exploration of the details reveals that conflicts over truth are often closely tied to questions of politics and power.
When religion is invoked as a reason to stand up against injustice, a cynic might say that religion really has nothing to do with it, that the people involved would have taken the same political action anyway. So does religion really have the power to be an effective force for social change? A brief look at mysticism can help us to answer this question.
The Gospel has been much talked about but practically sidelined under Christendom, says Jonathan Bartley. Rediscovering the radicalism of Jesus' message is vital to the recovery of a proper public role for Christian faith.
Young Catholics are being urged to follow the example of Mahatma Gandhi as they gather for National Youth Sunday. A new DVD, produced for National Youth Sunday, in association with Catholic Youth Services (CYS) and Pax Christi explores the themes of non-violence, peacemaking and justice.
They are people seldom spoken of - the rural poor, landless and tribal people of India - at time when their country is being hailed as a new economic superpower. But last week they demanded to be heard, at the start of one of the biggest non-violent protests since Gandhi chased out the British.
The sixtieth anniversary of India's independence reminds us, says Jonathan Bartley, that the nonviolent activism of Gandhi and the the peaceful and environmental 'awkward squads' point to a more hopeful form of politics and social change.
India gained independence through nonviolence, but partition involved much brutality, says Savi Hensman. Independence means embracing peace and justice in spite of intolerant ideologies, both religious and secular.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has dedicated the receipt of India's highest international honour, the Gandhi Peace Prize, to "the people of South Africa, to the freedom of Darfur and to Aung Sans Suu Kyi", the Burmese leader held under house arrest - writes Anto Akkara from Thrissur, India, for Ecumenical News International(ENI).