Atheism in the Public Square: Marginalised or Militant?

Are atheists marginalised in our public conversations, even in the largely secular West? Last week, atheists had their first ever official visit to the White House. Sixty representatives from the Secular Coalition for America met with officials and discussed issues ranging from child medical neglect, military proselytizing, and faith-based initiatives. USA Today reports that ‘this […]

US Health Care Debate – Christian Options?

Saturday’s Irish Times outlines the options facing President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in their efforts to pass health care reform in the United States. I’m an American, and I have followed the somewhat tedious rounds of debates with both amazement and despair. Many Americans believe they have the best health care system in […]

Ecumenism for Lent: Giving Out, not Giving Up

The Fermanagh Churches Forum started its series of Lenten lunches yesterday. Over four weeks, participants in the forum will meet in the Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist and Church of Ireland churches for a lunch and reflection. It’s the quiet sort of ecumenism that happens in different parts of this island. One of the members of the […]

Linda Hogan Book Review: Applied Ethics in a World Church

There is more to the Catholic Church than sex abuse scandals. Although that is a rather obvious point, in contemporary Ireland, it’s a fact that could quite easily get overlooked. Of course Catholics and other concerned citizens are right to criticise the Catholic Church and its failings in the Irish context. But a recent book […]

Gerry Adams & Jesus: Forgiveness is the Core of the Gospel

Gerry Adams’ presentation of a programme on the Channel 4 series ‘The Bible: A History,’ has provoked a flurry of comment and indignation on this morning’s radio phone-in shows and in the blogosphere. The subject of Adams’ programme was ‘Jesus.’ This has prompted the inevitable observations that Adams tries to equate the republican struggle with […]

Gerry Adams & Forgiveness: Alan McBride on the Channel 4 series ‘The Bible: A History’

Tomorrow, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will be the featured guest on the Channel 4 series, ‘The Bible: A History.’ The series bills itself as, ‘the story of the most influential book ever written, interpreted by seven prominent figures from different walks of life.’ Friday’s Belfast Telegraph carries an interview with Alan McBride, whose wife […]

Phyllis Tickle Book Review: The Great Emergence & the Re-Emergence Conference, Belfast

Phyllis Tickle is one of the featured speakers at the Belfast Re-Emergence Conference on March 16-18, 2010. Her book, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why (Baker Books, 2008) sets contemporary controversies, upheavals, and developments within Christianity in a sweeping historical context, proclaiming that we are at one of the ‘hinges’ of a […]

Barbara Walshe in the West Bank: Witness at Checkpoint 300

It’s a long way from Clare to Checkpoint 300. Barbara Walshe, a native of Co. Clare and a student on the Master’s in Reconciliation Studies programme at our Belfast campus, has recently returned from a stint with the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI). Walshe shared her experiences at […]

Will the Irish Catholic Church Repent?

This morning’s mass in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome had a special message for the Irish bishops: ‘clergy who had sinned must admit blame for "abominable acts".’ The Irish Times reports that Vatican secretary of State Cardinal Bertone spoke at the morning mass, which preceded crisis talks between the Pope and the Irish bishops about […]