Post by Category : General

Time to stand up against intolerance  0

A couple of days ago I posted a blog entry exploring the dangers of worldviews that become absolutist ideologies that are forced on other people. I quoted Islamic extremism as an obvious example.

Since then two newspaper articles have highlighted the danger that the response to this threat falls into the same trap.

Women now face fines for wearing Burkinis on beaches in some French resorts Vantage News

The Independent had the headline “Burkini ban: Armed police force woman to remove her clothing on Nice beach“. So, one response to Islamic extremism has been to demand that women expose more flesh in the name of public decency, no matter how they feel about it! Read more

Multiculturalism, ISIS and faith  0

I like diversity. I am in an international marriage and have lived in several cultures. Not only is cultural diversity interesting, but exposure to it has broadened my own experience and at times shown me the weaknesses and blind-spots in my own worldview. Thus, I like the concept of multi-culturalism: that different cultural communities should be allowed to exist together with tolerance, respect and sharing.

By Monisha.pushparaj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
But it seems that this ideal is under threat because absolutist worldviews are on the increase, the obvious example being radical Islam. This is a way of understanding the world that is obviously proving attractive to many people.

It is also a perfect example of the dangers of worldviews highlighted by postmodernism. As postmodern thinkers have often pointed out, worldviews come at a price. Because they are comprehensive in scope and because they depend on a particular narrative of the world they have a tendency to become absolutist ideologies. In order to maintain themselves such worldviews must negate all other visions, describing them as deviant or disruptive. Read more

Easter Saturday – a liminal day  0

Easter Saturday is a liminal day.

liminalLiminality is ‘is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage’ of a process of a ritual or of a process of change (Wikipedia). It is an in between state when all the certainties of what has gone before are gone, but what is going to replace them has not yet become clear. Liminal time is the time when you occupy a position at both sides of a boundary or threshold.

Liminal times are uncomfortable, uncertain and frightening. Read more

A plea for ‘talks about talks’  3

Contemporary ChristianityI wrote the following article for Contemporary Christianity’s monthly PS forum. The post can be found here. Contemporary Christianity (formerly ECONI) addresses issues of faith in the public square and hosts many significant discussions.

 


The phrase ‘talks about talks’ has come to encapsulate our frustration at the inability of politicians to actually address and deal with real issues. Yet, sometimes it is right to spend time agreeing how a conversation is going to be held, before actually having the conversation.

The big issue of the day for the churches is sexuality, obviously reflecting the prominence of the issue in society. In my experience it is an issue on which many people have very firm opinions on both sides of the argument. One of my biggest concerns is about how the conversation is being conducted. Read more

My journey  0

I want to be a grace guerilla
no longer a chameleon of karma
the time has come to stand out from the crowd.
I want to give forgiveness a fighting chance of freeing me
I want to live in love
and live it out loud.

(from Humanifesto by Gerard Kelly.1 The full poem is available here)

 

For several years I have been on a journey of exploration and discovery. It has been a journey from a settled and stable life of faith within a traditional, mainstream Christian denomination towards a less settled and stable, yet more personal and profound, life of discipleship.

annapurna-242482_640This pilgrimage has been prompted by a growing sense that the forms and expressions of faith that I had grown up with no longer ‘fit’ with the world in which I am living. It is widely recognised that our culture is undergoing a fundamental change. This has been described as a shift from modernity to postmodernity and from Christendom to post-Christendom.

It is not just society that has been changing. I have been changing with it and I now resonate with many aspects of postmodernism. Read more