The experience of being a new Facebook user prompts wider and deeper thoughts on 'friending', community and privacy for theologian Graeme Smith. Despite the promises of heavenly or earthly paradises made by ardent followers of this or that religious or political cause, all will become hellish if pluralism and therefore privacy is not protected and enhanced, he suggests.
Britain is “a Christian country”, the language, culture and politics of which is “steeped in the Bible”, declared UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently. The Bible provides an "appalling moral compass", biologist and vigorous atheist Richard Dawkins responded. Both, despite elements of truth, revealed a deep misunderstanding of Christianity, says Savi Hensman.
When it comes to evil, says Alison Jasper, we have a tendency to mystify it - that is reproduce unchallenging representations of it, from the monster in the movie with unclean appetites for human flesh and blood, right through to the 'monstrous perverts' of the tabloid press. Much more careful analysis and understanding is required to discover what lies behind the routine (but often imprecise) label 'evil'.
We need to search beyond politicians’ construction of multiculturalism, says Professor Robert Jackson. Research shows a much more complex picture of the ‘multicultural’ nature of society and of cultural relations, with constantly changing, complex and heterogeneous cultural groupings, exhibiting much diversity and some tension over issues such as identity. Religion, and our understanding of it, remains vital to all of this, not least within our schools. So where is it in PM David Cameron's vision and policy?
While psychological researchers sometimes ask volunteers about their dreams, a unit at the University of Wales in Lampeter, in mid Wales, collects religious experiences that can used as a resource for theology students.