“Sacred Earth: Original Blessing, Common Home.” Conference, Sydney.

“Sacred Earth: Original Blessing, Common Home.” Conference, Sydney.

Europeans who somehow believed that God was absent in Australia for 65,000 years until the colonizers arrived from Europe....

Aboriginal leader Anne Pattel-Gray spoke on “Restorative Justice” and recounted some of the sad and notorious history of white Australia to her people. Yet hers is the oldest continuous tribe on the earth. Anne Pattel-Gray’s examined the impact of white racism on the aboriginal peoples of Australia. Anne was blunt in her assessment of the price paid by her people and especially their children over the centuries at the hands of Europeans who somehow believed that God was absent in Australia for 65,000 years until the colonizers arrived from Europe. She was equally direct in posing solutions including a much talked-about but never enacted treaty that acknowledges her people as a sovereign nation. The conference responded by drawing up and enacting a supportive statement that will be delivered to government authorities. She called for action and not just more words.

Continue Reading »

Being good without God: Iris Murdoch’s ideas are growing in influence - by Fiona Ellis writing in The Tablet

Being good without God: Iris Murdoch’s ideas are growing in influence - by Fiona Ellis writing in The Tablet

Iris Murdoch, who was born in Dublin 100 years ago this week, believed there was no room for God in a properly adult religion – yet her ideas…...

Iris Murdoch, who was born in Dublin 100 years ago this week, believed there was no room for God in a properly adult religion – yet her ideas are becoming increasingly influential among philosophers and theologians

The late Oxford philosopher P.F. Strawson once suggested that Iris Murdoch is a much better philosopher than novelist. This was passed down to me at the time as a rather clever joke. After all, Murdoch was a Platonist (horror of horrors), her work is insufficiently analytic, and she makes the whole thing far too personal and emotional (“For me,” she once said, “philosophical problems are the problems of my own life”). No wonder she was more successful as a novelist than as a philosopher.

Continue Reading »

JESUS TODAY - A Quaker Perspective by Michael Wright

JESUS TODAY - A Quaker Perspective by Michael Wright

I have had a life-long respect and admiration for Jesus. These days I think so many people who might well share my respect for him, know hardly…...

The fresh knowledge provided by biblical scholars in the last fifty or more years passes most people by.

I have been encouraged by friends to share a little of my journey and experiences as an introduction to this book. It is written with Quakers in mind, many of whom these days know little about Jesus, even though the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain is rooted in the Christian tradition and has always found inspiration in his life and teachings. I hope it may also be helpful to others, whether active church members or not, who are interested in a modern perspective on Jesus. I have been very much helped in writing this by consulting various friends who share some of my interests. As well as Quakers, they include Methodists, Anglicans and Roman Catholics. They have told me that what I have written will be of interest to some fellow members of the churches to which they belong.

Continue Reading »

Shaping the future of the Church of England

Shaping the future of the Church of England

Looking ahead to the 2020 General Synod elections...

Should same sex couples be able to marry in church? How can the church respond to the climate emergency? What safeguarding rules should the church have to protect children and vulnerable adults? How do we equip the church for the challenges of mission and ministry in the 21st Century? Do you ever find yourself asking these questions? And do you wonder who in the church is responsible for answering them?

Continue Reading »