Critical Religion coordinator and Ekklesia associate Dr Michael Marten, from the University of Stirling, has been interviewed by Caitlin Smith for a BBC documentary, picking up on his research on Scottish missions in Palestine. The presenter is Angus Roxburgh.
In this provocative reflection, Timothy Fitzgerald explains why he has become sceptical about the idea of a universal domain of politics, and what it means to claim that such a world exists. He begins to suggest that ‘the world of politics’ is as much a faith-imaginary as those beliefs typically attributed to ‘the world of religion’. Its questionable status is demonstrated by an ideological illusion that Fitzgerald looks at in his recent book, Religion and Politics in International Relations: the Modern Myth (Continuum, 2011). To be continued.
Drawing on a public conversation at Edinburgh’s Festival of Spirituality and Peace on the theme ‘Disorganised Religion’ earlier this summer (2012), Michael Marten reflects on the nature of religion and the way it is morphing, changing and being challenged in the contemporary era.
In written documentation from colonial times many indigenous authors are not victims only, but innovative individuals, bringing together their own belief forms with Christian traditions and thus creating genres and contents of their own and for their own objectives, says Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar.
A popular educational website raises questions for Timothy Fitzgerald about the theoretical and methodological problems in isolating and defining a domain of politics or political science in the first place.
There have always been prophets of doom, says Dr Andrew Hass. History is punctuated by exclamatory voices crying, in one form or other, that catastrophe is imminent or the end is nigh. Sometimes they are seen as 'crying wolf'. In relation to the current global financial crisis, the issue of capitalism as religion, who and what we hope for, the ethical probings of counter-wisdom, and the insights of Walter Benjamin and others come together potently in their interrogation of who we are and where we are going.
Missionaries in Palestine during the period from the First World War until the Israeli declaration of the state and the connected Palestinian Nakba of 1948 were determined, they continually argued, to stay out of the controversy and not take sides, Dr Michael Marten reminds us. But what do concepts of 'neutrality', 'fairness' and 'respect' mean in the midst of conflict, in complex lesions of history and in its writing? Tidiness may be convenient but damaging to both truthfulness and the search for justice.
Negation has ascended into the imagination of our culture and society not necessarily as something to be scorned or regretted, but as something with which to be, in some cultural, philosophical, or even religious form, reconciled, says Dr Andrew Hass. But before we can understand how this figure might work its way into and through our present world, we need first to ask, whence 'zero'? For its history is by no means one we might expect.