Karen Armstrong, whose new book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence invites far more subtle understanding of the relationship between faith and fratricide globally, has written a characteristically thoughtful piece on IS/ISIS for The New Statesman magazine: 'Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism'.
The West has a lot to answer for in terms of its colonial past, influence over the region and propping up of dictators. But this also means that it should have learned much over the years. So can it exercise some humility and apply those lessons intelligently? Ekklesia associate and MENA region expert Dr Harry Hagopian looks behind the horrific killing of Alan Hennings to ask what sustains IS/ISIL and what can be done to marginalise them.
The ever-productive Martin Marty Centre at the Divinity School in the University of Chicago has offered a powerful article in its 'Sightings' series on what can and cannot be known and understood about IS/ISIS at present.
Thinking about how to respond to ISIS/IS, and in view of the perilous realities of Iraq and Syria, have we tended to ignore the increasing tensions in Palestine and the relationship between all these? Regional commentator and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian argues that ISIS cannot be dealt with by brute force and must be countered by political solutions that re-enfranchise the peoples of the region.
'Timor mortis conturbat me' – the fear of death disturbs me. These words, from the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church, first became a literary device in medieval times, bracketing human follies and fears within the ambit of our common mortality.