The assumption that there is some essential distinction between 'religious' and 'non-religious' domains – which is still today a globalising discourse – is an ideological construct which takes on an appearance of naturalness and inevitability, says Timothy Fitzgerald. When such generalised assumptions are taken into the field of international relations they cause further difficulties.
Religious state and non-state authorities have entered into a discussion about the legitimacy of political resistance, says Malika Zeghal. Al-Azhar, through the presence of some of its members in Tahrir Square, has shown its relevance to the recent political mobilization and has asserted its role in shaping a narrative of hope against tyranny.
While the Middle East uprisings have not revolved around religion, faith has not been absent from Arab scenes of protest in the last two months, says Shatha Almutawa. God and scripture are invoked by revolutionaries and those who oppose them for the simple reason that Arab dialects and ways of life are infused with religion.
There may be no direct route from the politics of Jesus' day to the politics of modern Britain, but there are embodied principles and narratives in the Gospel which directly challenge the marginalisation of the poor and the use of ideology (religious or otherwise) to prop up the status quo, says Jonathan Bartley. These have a good deal to say to us as we assess the Spending Review and those it benefits and penalises.
BBC Radio 4's stimulating 'Start the Week' programme, hosted by Andrew Marr, ran a special edition this morning (18 October 2010) discussing morality, religion and politics. It featured irascible and creative US theologian Stanley Hauerwas.
It is easy to be won over by the universal moral or religious principles espoused by a skilled rhetorician such as Tony Blair. However, John Heathershaw argues that in politics, from university league tables to the war in Iraq, God is in the details.
In its literal sense "doing God" is a theological nonsense. Christianity itself suggests you can only really respond to an invitation to join in what God is already doing, says Jonathan Bartley. Nevertheless, the debate about it acts as a useful warning to politicians not to suck up to the religious, and to Christians to live out the values of the Gospel rather than defending their self-interest.
Loud demands for special concessions from society come from those who insist on their own strength, says Simon Jones. Instead, Christians should meet those who argue with them as equals, rescinding historical claims to authority. What strength is left, then, is God’s, he says.