Theology of Liberation - Call for Papers

Theology for Liberation in the UK You are invited to submit a paper for review and publication that explores the interaction of radical politics and Christian faith that takes seriously its British context and looks for actual concrete change for neighbourhoods.  Nothing vague or aspirational: Demonstrably Practical Theology, rooted in neighbourhoods or marginal communities.  Papers need to demonstrate an understanding of a particular context, show that analysis has taken place with (rather than over or for) people and that the analysis of lived experience is deeply reflected on with academically rigorous theology that’s presented in an accessible way. Themes may include but are not exclusive to: The interaction of religions in ways that change society Anarchy as observed and interacted with by people of faith Queer theology and its role in social transformation Disability and challenging the changes to the social contract Direct Action and theological... Read More

Enchanted by Absence

A sociologist arrived in Belfast to run a survey on the religious and political beliefs of residents in an area of historic conflict. She was confronted by a man who turned the questioning back on her, wanting to know if she was a Protestant or a Catholic. “I’m an atheist,” replied the sociologist, to which her subject responded, “Sure you’re an atheist, but is it the Protestant or the Catholic God in which you don’t believe?” This is one of those jokes that makes you laugh and then you realise: it’s not a joke at all! This subject-turned-philosopher of the survey was making an important point. Atheism is not at all straightforward and is every bit as complex as theism – the belief in a God. But more complex still is the ability to hold in tension the two realities. As Simone Weil playfully put it, in one of her notes, “God exists, God does not exists, where is the problem?” If it is possible to say that the Self is both real and not real then it is... Read More

Growing Church...out of trees!

This 30 second video is a wonderful look at what happens when you take the idea of growing a church literally! The walls of the Church are made of trees but there's far more to this cultivated sacred space than that. Take a look. Many of us are finding new ways to re-green our worship whether it's through Forest Church or Wildlife Meadows or as part of an incredible edible project. But there's nothing new under the sun; we've been composting the saints for centuries!  

John M. Hull

It was sad news to wake up to this morning. John Hull was admitted to hospital on Friday, after a fall, and died in the early hours. I expect obituaries from the great and the good to follow - they certainly should! - but I felt like penning my own reflections too. Those of us who knew John only in his years at Queen's Foundation might not realise he was a lauded professor of RE for most of his academic career. It was John Hull and John Hick really - those were among the people who most shaped our ideas around a philosophy of religious engagement from a Christian perspective. When he retired they wanted to keep him around and made him 'Emeritus' which is latin for 'we wanted to keep him around'. John described this experience as like being "a ringwraith" loitering the corridors without any power or role so many years after retirement he decided to relaunch his career as an agitator of clergy: hence his journey to Queen's Foundation. Marilyn had asked him "What do you want to... Read More

Is it too late to Party Now the Election is Over?

  They Think It's All Over On election night in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire - a post-industrial, ex-mining town - nobody at the count looked happy. Labour one the parliamentary seat as usual but nearly lost control of the district council for the first time. The only conservative who showed up was the paper candidate who polled well but didn't expect to win. UKIP and our "Independent Forum" did the best between them and in some ways are interchangeable, but, since UKIP only won a single seat in the country and it certainly wasn't going to be ours they were just vaguely grumply. Us Greens and our neighbours from the TUSC were mostly just pleased to be there but couldn't hide our disappointment at what was happening to the Labour Party that many of us once believed in. So what happens next?  The national papers have instantly framed the debate over Labour's future as one about whether it move to the left or the right. But, as ever, this is simplistic. What has... Read More