International controversy has been sparked by debates on sexual ethics and the treatment of minoritites. This is often portrayed as conlict between a ‘liberal’ west and ‘conservative’ south. But the reality is more complicated, says Savi Hensman
The death of 'Baby P' was followed by a damaing rush to judgement, says Savi Hensman. She considers the response of the Church of England and how it could be part of the wider task of countering violence and cooperating with other people of goodwill to build a more just and peaceful world.
Partly as a result of developments in biblical scholarship, many Christians now believe that it can be acceptable to enter a same-sex partnership. Savi Hensman examines differing interpretations of Christ's call: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
The ‘common good’ and support for current and former soldiers are among the topics to be discussed at the Church of England’s general synod in July 2014. Savi Hensman suggests that the institutional Church of England in its current form may be too heavily compromised by its closeness to the “principalities and powers” to be fully effective in seeking justice and peace. She argues that it will have to face a death of sorts in order to be renewed in Christ.
The Gospel account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is widely known among Christians. Some churches re-enact it on Maundy Thursday. Yet it is not always recognised quite how subversive this was, says Savi Hensman
The tone of the Church of England's House of Bishop's 'Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage' is cold and legalistic, says Savi Hensman. She argues that it is in contrast to the more welcoming attitude of General Synod and that putting it into practice may prove harder than anticipated.
Those who promote criminalisation of, or violence against, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people cannot reasonably claim that this is a sign of Christian love, says Savitri Hensman, challenging a Church of England General Synod member's reported comments in Jamaica.
In many churches today, hymns have been largely or wholly replaced by worship songs. Some of these are of high quality and accessible to a wider range of worshippers. However, says Savitri Hensman, perhaps there should be more discussion of how this trend may influence the ways in which Christians relate to the Bible and understand themselves, God and the world.