Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster Headline Institute’s Spring Festival – Starting Tomorrow

Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster are among the highlights at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s Spring Festival of Events at Queen’s. Former Taoiseach Ahern speaks on ‘Reflections on Peace in a Changed Ireland’ on Tuesday 31 May, 5-7 pm; while First Minister Foster delivers the Harri Holkeri Lecture on […]

Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland – Author Meets Critics Session

My latest book, Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland: Religious Practice in Late Modernity (Oxford 2016) was launched Tuesday at the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), Trinity College Dublin, with an ‘author meets critics’ session.     Brian Conway (NUI Maynooth), Siobhán Garrigan (Loyola Institute, TCD), and Patrick Mitchel (Belfast Bible College) formed the panel. The book was […]

Canon Giles Fraser to Speak on Refugees at St George’s, Belfast, 22 April

Canon Giles Fraser will speak on ‘Refugees: An Old Testament Perspective’ on Friday 22 April at 7.30pm at St George’s, Belfast. The lecture is part of St George’s Bicentenary Celebrations, 2013-2016. Fraser was formerly Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where he welcomed the Occupy protesters and invited them to attend Sunday worship. He is now […]

Peter Rollins in Belfast Tomorrow: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

Belfast’s Peter Rollins is back in his hometown and will speak tomorrow at 8-9.30 pm in Redeemer Central (101 Donegall Street) on ‘The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.’ I always look forward to Pete’s return visits from his base in California — it’s an opportunity to check in with his current thinking and (hopefully) have my […]

The Deconstructed Church: Freestyle Christianity Podcast

I recently spoke with David Capener for the Freestyle Christianity Podcast about the book I co-authored with Gerardo Marti, The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity (Oxford, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here. Some of the areas we discussed are expressed in the following extracts/paraphrased quotations: I write as an academic sociologist of religion, […]

Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland: Book Launch and Author Meets Critics Session on 12 April in Dublin

I’m delighted to announce that the launch of my new book, Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland: Religious Practice in Late Modernity (Oxford, 2016) will be marked with an Author Meets Critics session at the Irish School of Ecumenics in Dublin on 12 April at 6 pm. I’m looking forward to hearing what the readers have to say about the […]

Reflection on Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland

Last night I took part in an event, ‘The Past is a Moving Picture: Screening of the film Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland,’ in Imagine: the Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics. I was asked for a short reflection on the film, which I’ve reproduced below. While the most powerful part of the night was […]

A Fresh Listen to the Parable of the Prodigal Son: The Rostrevor Benedictines, the Prodigal Girl, and Acknowledging the Abuses in the Catholic Church in Ireland

In the Catholic liturgical calendar, the gospel reading this past Sunday was the parable of the prodigal son. This parable is so well-known, and its meaning so widely assumed, that I suspect many find it difficult to hear the story with fresh and attentive ears. That’s why I so appreciated Kester Brewin’s alternative reading of […]