Features

  • 1 Feb 2013

    Now the dust is settling a little on the Israeli election result, what are we to make of it? Regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian provides a sober assessment, focussing especially on Yair Lapid, kingmaker and leader of Yesh Atid (There is a Future). Insofar as Israel-Palestine is concerned, Lapid should insist upon a more centrist view that would stop the unremitting colonisation of Palestinian lands and encourage saving the last gasp of the two-state solution, he suggests.

  • 27 Jan 2013

    What sort of work can any academic department achieve when it is fenced into a little box with no room to manoeuvre of its own accord? Jonathan Tuckett, who is doing research in phenomenology at the University of Stirling, asks the question with regard to an appraisal of issues and dilemmas related to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the culture of - often imprecise - measurement and categorisation increasingly imposed upon universities and colleges.

  • 19 Jan 2013

    Today, there are serious fissures in our Christian faith, writes Dr Harry Hagopian. We seem to have lost the keen sense that we must be credible interpreters and loyal disciples of God's love to humankind. That, above all, is the nature of the prayer-in-action and action-in-prayer which animates the annual reminder of this continual calling: the global Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. What is required, perhaps, is a praxis not unlike that of the Early Church -- more basic, and therefore more grounded.

  • 13 Jan 2013

    Christians and other small communities in the Middle East and North Africa face an uncertain and sometimes dangerous situation in which fear is understandable, acknowledges Dr Harry Hagopian. But there is still good reason to resist being overly gripped by insularity and despair, to question the agenda of hierarchs, and to try to respond positively to the grassroots change that will continue to sweep the region over the coming year and beyond.

  • 11 Jan 2013

    It is three years since the devastating Haiti earthquake. Pascale Palmer from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development looks at the task of rebuilding supported by CAFOD and others, and the immense challenges faced by the people of the country. She also draws attention to a campaign for changes in the global food system that could help prevent food insecurity in countries like Haiti.

  • 10 Jan 2013

    The gap between very high incomes and low salaries has been widening for several years, says Laurent Schlumberger, president of the national council of the Reformed Church of France. Where governments and consumers are reluctant to act, there is still a moral imperative on high earners to refuse grossly unequal remuneration, he argues.

  • 2 Jan 2013

    It is not possible to predict with any sense of certainty how affairs will develop across the Middle East and North Africa region in 2013. What can be seen, writes regional analyst Dr Harry Hagopian, is that we are in the midst of a grand reshaping of all the regional assumptions that have stood for almost a generation. Something has made the pulse of this region race faster, and that cannot be undone. Now, we are seeking the calm in eye of the storm, and we will possibly do so for some time to come.

  • 27 Dec 2012

    How does God communicate with us when words are not adequate? How can we even try to talk of God when literal language so lets us down? Mark Wakelin, President of the Methodist Conference, says that the whole point of the Christmas story is to show us that the God of Jesus Christ is disclosed in humanity, vulnerability and personalness, rather than abstract theory or proposition. Like love, this calls for a personal and social response within the life of the world.

  • 27 Dec 2012

    Many thousands of disabled people with serious musculo-skeletal conditions, serious heart conditions or respiratory difficulties, cerebral palsy, neurological conditions such as MS and ME and many more will no longer benefit from the Motability vehicle scheme under new government proposals, writes Jane Young. Their car will simply be taken away before they have a chance to appeal. In this article she explains what is happening under proposals for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and how concerned individuals and organisations can respond.

  • 24 Dec 2012

    The critical religion school has taught us to see the colonial invention of world religions and their relegation to private space, says Alex Henley from the University of Manchester. But an emphasis on the bulldozing force of secular colonial power may obscure the resilience of local histories. This article is a reflection on a recent workshop discussion with Professor Ahmed Ragab and Dr Aria Nakissa at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.