Features

  • 14 Jun 2013

    As Ekklesia has reported recently, FARC and the government are moving ahead with peace talks in Colombia. But many questions remain about the current process, and as this Christian Peacemaker Teams briefing indicates, what lies behind it is a decidedly mixed history. Can the politics of hope overcome a legacy of oppression and despair?

  • 9 Jun 2013

    Religious faith and practice can make the most committed and powerful contributions to reconciliation and to economic justice. It can also use texts and traditions to avoid responsibility and to commit selfish or harmful actions, says Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. Speaking to the UN, he offers an inspiring yet honest vision of the way churches and other religious communities can make a vital contribution to building justice and peace for the whole of humanity, while being held necessarily accountable before God and the world they are intended to serve.

  • 9 Jun 2013

    The grim facts of environmental degradation are causing worldwide economic loss and that means greater poverty and health problems, says Fr Shay Cullen, focusing on the ecological and financial cost of coal, and upon the impact on East Asia. Time and again short term benefits are mostly for the rich while the environmental damage hurts the poor, he says, citing a report commissioned by the G8 and the United Nation's Environmental Programme.

  • 5 Jun 2013

    As in the case of Palestine, and unless the international community oversteps its most prurient interests and comes together to help Syria emerge from its current violence, we could well end up with a failed state that is not too distant from the Somali experience, says regional expert and observer Dr Harry Hagopian. We could indeed witness the fragmentation of the country, as many Syrians currently claim is slowly, inexorably happening. Yet there is still room for manoeuvre and hope.

  • 24 May 2013

    At a meeting of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, on 23 May 2013, a report from the Church and Society Council on theology of land in the context of Israel/Palestine was discussed. Called The inheritance of Abraham? A report on the ‘promised land’, it has the potential to raise considerable awareness of these issues in congregations and groups, says regional analyst Dr Michael Marten. He examines the background, context, issues and controversies surrounding the report, adopted by the Kirk on 23 May 2013.

  • 23 May 2013

    The 2013 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted for what is effectively “establishment by the back door” in any new constitutional arrangements for an independent Scotland, says lawyer and commentator Carla J Roth. She questions whether this is helpful or appropriate either for the church or for the nation.

  • 3 Apr 2013

    It is not long ago that we marked the two-year anniversary of the Syrian uprisings. What started in Dara’a (in southern Syria alongside the Jordanian border) and later country-wide as a series of peaceful and reform-oriented demonstrations was met with uncompromising firepower. Regional analyst Dr Harry Hagopian assesses what has been happening and where the balance of forces now lies in a damaging, dangerous and heartbreaking conflict.

  • 28 Mar 2013

    Hope solely in an America-tailored and enforced settlement between Israelis and Palestinians today is nothing more than a chimera, says regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian, in the wake of the US President's regional visit. Moreover, the two peoples will only manage to draw nearer to a peaceful resolution of the conflict if Israel acknowledges that it is occupying and colonising another people on their land and desist from applying those oppressive measures that are apartheid-like.

  • 23 Mar 2013

    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.

  • 22 Mar 2013

    We have begun to learn something of the varied influences that have shaped the new pontiff. What is required from the new pope today, says Dr Harry Hagopian, is more than an evocative name and a humble posture. Catholicism also needs someone who can bringing a cleansing brush to bear on tired structures, on the abuse scandal, and on the existential, ecclesial, structural, ecumenical and global challenges that Christians face in a fast-changing world. It is a monumental task, but which many hope the first Jesuit pontiff can begin and lead.