Northern Ireland Reconciliation – Those who [try to] forget their past are doomed to repeat it…

Northern Ireland is dealing with its past every day – but usually not in a way that is helpful or constructive. That was the message from a panel discussion, ‘Can we Handle the Truth?’ that I attended on Saturday 30 January 2010 in Derry. The panel featured Denis Bradley, who along with Lord Robin Eames […]

Dave Tomlinson Book Review – Re-Enchanting Christianity, & The Re-Emergence Conference (Belfast)

Dave Tomlinson is one of the keynote speakers at the Belfast Re-Emergence Conference, ‘The Church is Dead, Long Live the Church,’ scheduled for March 16-18, 2010, at the Irish School of Ecumenics (Trinity College Dublin at Belfast). In his most recent book, Re-Enchanting Christianity: Faith in an Emerging Culture, (Canterbury Press, 2008) Tomlinson dissects all […]

From World Mission to Interreligious Witness – Visioning Ecumenics in the 21st Century: Conference in Dublin June 16-18, 2010

After a century of ecumenism, where are we? Most scholars date the beginning of the modern ecumenical movement to the 1910 Edinburgh Conference, where church leaders gathered to forge a way forward for greater cooperation in missionary endeavours. But 100 years on ‘mission’ – with its overtones of proselytization – means something quite different to […]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2010: Can Ecumenism Be Born Again?

‘Born Again,’ is a term that is used derisively in Ireland to denote conservative evangelical Christians. Outsiders sometimes refer to them collectively as ‘the born agains,’ with either a smirk or a sigh, signalling their disagreement with their religion and most likely their politics. It saddens me that ‘born again’ has become such a by-word. […]

Johnston McMaster Book Review: A Passion for Justice – Social Ethics in the Celtic Tradition

  The ancient Celtic world and its larger-than-life inhabitants have too often been manipulated for political and religious ends. A glance at some of the gable walls of Northern Ireland’s cities make that all too clear. But the Celtic tradition need not be divisive, or the preserve of one ‘side’ in the longstanding conflict on […]

God & Guns, Dodging a Bullet On Thou shall not kill?

Pardon the pun, but a US gun manufacturer has just given more ammunition to those who think that religion is an inherently violent force for evil in the world. The manufacturer, Trijicon, has inscribed “2COR4:6” and “JN8:12” on its gun sights. The BBC reports that Trijicon was ‘founded by a devout Christian’ who runs the […]

Pope Summons Irish Bishops To Rome

The Irish bishops are to travel to Rome to face the man in charge, Pope Benedict, and discuss possibilities for the church in the aftermath of the clerical sex scandals. The talks are scheduled for the 15th and 16th of February. The Irish Times reports that: “It is expected that proposals on dealing with the […]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2010: Is Ecumenism Boring?

Ecumenism is boring. In the same journal article I discussed in yesterday’s post, Dr Andrew Pierce quotes Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who called ecumenism the ‘great yawn of our time,’ and H.A. Williams, who dismissed ecumenism as the ‘last refuge of the ecclesiastical bore.’ My husband, a marketer by trade, reckons that ecumenism is in desperate […]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2010: A failure of the ecumenical imagination?

My colleague Dr Andrew Pierce has identified a failure of the ecumenical imagination in an article, ‘Re-imagining Irish Ecumenism: Enlarging a Sense of the Possible,’ in the journal Doctrine and Life (2008). It seems that ecumenism, both in Ireland and internationally, is floundering and people who are involved with the ecumenical movement or are sympathetic […]