The World Council of Churches 10th Assembly being held in Busan, Republic of Korea (30 October - 8 November 2013), is continuing the 60-year WCC campaign for advocacy of gender justice. The Council, in partnership with Korean women, has designed an encounter space – Umulga SHe-Space in the Madang exhibition hall at the WCC assembly. J. Ayana McCalman introduces the concept and the fresh space it opens up for conversation and action around gender justice.
"A day taking the hierarchy out of gender" is how our partners the Anabaptist Network and Mennonite Trust (in association with Peace Church and Woodbrooke College) are describing their event on Saturday 26 October 2013 at the International Mission Centre (IMC) in Birmingham.
When Pope Francis first emerged into the blinking glare of global publicity, most people had little idea who he was, says Simon Barrow. The initial attempts to fill the media void with headlines, soundbites and images still leaves us bereft of deeper understanding. We need time to grow that, and to realise that it is the fruits of action rather than heated rhetoric that will get us closer to the complexity of truth.
How are we to assess Pope Benedict XVI? What does his time as pontiff say about the present and future of the papacy? Weaving his way adroitly through a recent sea-wave of both condemnation and adulation, Armenian Orthodox ecumenical consultant Dr Harry Hagopian, who is also an Ekklesia associate, finds himself in agreement on many points with third-wave feminist critic Joumana Haddad, while also feeling that graciousness and acknowledgement of Benedict's strengths - including his theological reflections - better serves the cause of forward movement inside and outside the Church.
What are some of the implications of the discussion of critical religion for feminist and gender theory making? The gendered binaries of spiritual/material or spirit/flesh still haunt us, says Dr Alison Jasper, in the tendency to regard women and the female as better fitted for certain roles that tend to be less well rewarded in terms of money and influence.