Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

May 17th, 2016

The challenges of “resurrecting democracy”: Lessons from London

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Resurrecting DemocracyResurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship, and the Politics of a Common Life is a weighty call to “resurrect democracy” and to do so by adopting the practices of broad-based community organizing (BBCO) as developed by Saul Alinsky in 1930s Chicago and subsequently by a range of organizations in the United States and more recently, beyond. The book draws on Luke Bretherton’s experiences as an active participant in the work of London Citizens during the years before and after the financial crisis of 2008. As a theologian and active Christian, Bretherton brings a valuable religious perspective to his analysis of the work of the alliance and its campaigns to support the living wage and responsible lending in the city of London in the wake of the crash.

February 23rd, 2015

Religion in Britain: Demography, identity, and the public sphere

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Over at Public Spirit, to coincide with the publication of the second edition of Grace Davie’s Religion in Britain, Tariq Modood comments on on three significant changes with demography, identity, and the public sphere are going to characterize the next few decades and perhaps beyond.

March 10th, 2014

Scientology as religion

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As part of the discussion and workshop on “Beyond Critique,” Lorenzo Zucca, Reader in Jurisprudence at King’s College London, writes about the definition of religion as it relates to Scientology.

February 1st, 2013

Religious right in the United Kingdom?

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Over at Theos, a British think tank working in the area of religion, politics and society, recently released a new report asking: “Is there a ‘Religious Right’ emerging in Britain?

March 26th, 2012

Public religions and the postsecular

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The latest issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion contains the presidential address of British sociologist James Beckford. In it, Beckford critically reflects on the concepts of public religion and the postsecular.

March 21st, 2012

Archbishop of Canterbury to step down

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On March 16th, Archbishop Rowan Williams announced his acceptance of the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, effective January 2013.

March 17th, 2011

Poppies and Prophets

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Last November 11, two British Muslims, purportedly members of an organization calling itself “Muslims Against Crusades” (MAC), were arrested under the UK Public Order Act. They were accused of burning three oversized poppies at a Remembrance Day ceremony and interrupting a two-minute moment of silence with such chants as “Burn, burn, British soldiers, British soldiers, burn in hell!” and “British soldiers: murderers! British soldiers: rapists! British soldiers: terrorists!” Last week, one of the two activists, Emdadur Choudhury, was found guilty under Section 5 of the Public Order Act of burning the poppies in a way that was likely to cause “harassment, harm or distress” to those who witnessed it, and was fined £50. . . . While it is very tempting for Muslims, and those sympathetic to the situation of Muslims in Europe, to see a case like this as evidence of double-standards—Muslim speech is suppressed on grounds of injury to non-Muslims, while the reverse is not; speech injurious to secular affect is suppressed, while speech injurious to religious affect is not—this might also be an occasion for some general reflection on the problem of injurious speech in morally pluralist contexts.

February 7th, 2011

Cameron’s multikulti moment

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Echoing comments made by his German counterpart (as well as his Labour predecessor), British PM David Cameron spoke out strongly against multiculturalism at the Munich Security Conference.

January 28th, 2011

Secularism and race

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The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London is hosting a one-day conference today on “Secularism, Racism, and the Politics of Belonging,” bringing together an international group of scholars on race, religion, and public policy as well as activists.

July 21st, 2010

“Can you do counterterrorism without theology?”

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“Can you do counterterrorism without theology?” Increasingly, critics are calling into question the Western strategy of supporting moderate and more “acceptable” forms of Islam throughout the world.  In response to the question above, posted at The Guardian, Mehdi Hasan, a senior editor at the New Statesman, argues that “it is not the business of the state to back one or other interpretation of Islam – or any other faith.”

July 9th, 2010

Choosing a religious leader

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If there is one fixed star in American understandings of religion it is that government should not be in charge of picking religious leaders. Religion should be self-governing and religious leaders should be chosen by their flocks. Any other arrangement would not be free.

July 8th, 2010

Making sense of the emerging church movement

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Two recent contributions from the United Kingdom shed some light on the elusive phenomenon knows as the “emerging church” or, alternatively, the “emergent church” movement.

April 28th, 2010

Lived religion, British-style?

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Over at the British weekly The Observer, Peter Stanford reviews Is God Still an Englishman?, the latest from Cole Moreton.

March 17th, 2010

Orthodox paradox: An interview with John Milbank

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Milbank is an Anglican theologian whose ideas, distinguished by a profound skepticism of secular reason, have given shape to Radical Orthodox theology and provided the underpinnings of the Red Tory and Blue Labour movements in British politics. His most recent book, The Monstrosity of Christ, is a collaboration with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, edited by Creston Davis and published in 2009 by MIT Press. He is also a contributor to Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, a series of critical engagements with Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, recently published by Harvard University Press.


JM: …If you are going to be an atheist and nihilist, then be one. Only second-raters repeat secular nostrums in a pious guise. Such theology can never possibly make any difference, by definition. It’s a kind of sad, grey, seasonal echo of last year’s genuine black. All real Christian theology, by contrast, emerges from the Church, which alone mediates the presence of the God-Man, who is the presupposition of all Christian thinking.

February 4th, 2010

Does faith trump equality?

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This week at The Guardian‘s Belief page, the editors ask whether faith trumps equality: “When religions believe they must discriminate on grounds of sex, or gender, or of belief, what should the state do?”  On Monday, the editors published the text of an address delivered by the Pope to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, and yesterday they added another religious perspective, that of Michael Scott-Joynt, bishop of Winchester and member of the House of Lords, to the debate.

January 5th, 2010

The state of Shari’a in the UK

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In The Times, Douglas Murray opines on the foothold Islamic law has gained in British public life and explores how the emergence of Muslim Arbitration Tribunals and the growth of Shari’a-compliant finance may affect British national identity and the rule of law in the UK.