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?“
Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’
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.
On March 16th, Archbishop Rowan Williams announced his acceptance of the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, effective January 2013.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.