War rhetoric in the media this week seemed to imply the impending end of Syria’s Assad regime and the spread of Syria’s civil war into a larger regional conflict, while key players carefully chose their words to try to emphasise the limits of conflict, and responses to any breach, writes Arthur Bernhoff, an international affairs analyst currently based in Beirut.
That's an interesting and tantalisingly ambiguous question. Are we talking about the appearance of beliefs in an increasingly multi-platform world, the question of belief or otherwise in media values and performance, or some combination of the two?
Religion and the News is the title of a book published at the end of last year (2012), co-edited by Professor Jolyon Mitchell, who is taking part in tonight's 'Faith and the Media' conversation at St John's Church, Edinburgh, 6-7.30pm, as part of Just Festival.
At the end of April 2013, the Rev Rachel Mann, author of Dazzling Darkness: Gender, sexuality, illness and God, gave the 5th Annual St Anselm Lecture, on the topic of social media and faith, at St Anselm Hall, University of Manchester.
Given that the Church of Scotland, like all major Christian denominations, conducts a good chunk of its internal business in public these days (with the boundary between what is 'internal' and what is 'external' increasingly stretched), media and communications can no longer be thought of - if it ever could - as a specialist function alone.
Ekklesia staff, associates and friends have been much in demand on the radio and television recently. Tomorrow (Sunday 24 March 2013), new associate Keith Hebden, an Anglican priest involved in social justice advocacy and the activist network Christianity Uncut, will be appearing on a range of local BBC radio stations across England (7am - 9am), making the case against the government's unpaid 'workfare' mandatory work placement programme.
As politicians fret about the Leveson inquiry and struggle to square the circle of defending a media free from state interference that some argue needs to be better protected by the state from unethical corporate politicking and domination, there is great value in us returning to examine Jesus’ engagement with the a major medium of communication in his day: the Temple. Keith Hebden argues that across the chasm of the centuries, lessons in confronting power and 'domination systems' are there to be learned if we pay proper attention.