Evangelicals & Gay Rights in Ireland: Evangelical Alliance’s Surprise Support for Civil Partnerships Bill

One issue that is sure to bring Christian voices out in the public sphere is gay rights. The overwhelming impression that one gets is that Christians are opposed to extending gay rights, particularly when it comes to marriage or civil partnerships. A surprising exception to this has been the Evangelical Alliance in the Republic of […]

What can the Churches Learn from Zimbabwe’s Masowe Apostles?: Isabel Mukonyora Book Review, Wandering a Gendered Wilderness

I’m intrigued by the astronomical growth of Christianity in the majority world, and I think it’s important that Christians in the West ask themselves what the churches in all the far-flung corners of the globe can teach us. That’s a part of what motivates my research on charismatic Christianity in Zimbabwe. During my fieldwork in […]

EU Year Against Poverty & Social Exclusion: Social Justice Ireland Critiques the Irish Budget

Ireland’s economic miracle is over. And for those who were passed over by the Celtic Tiger, times could get even tougher. That’s the analysis offered by Social Justice Ireland (the organisation formerly known as the Council of Religious in Ireland – CORI), in its Policy Briefing on Poverty, released this week. Social Justice Ireland points […]

Church Action Poverty: Northern Ireland Launch and Call to Action

“The churches in Northern Ireland are too posh-looking, their hedges are too high.” This was the assessment offered by Margaret Blair, a volunteer at The Gap Christian outreach project in Coleraine, speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence. Blair’s interview was part of a piece by reporter Mark McCleary on a new Northern Ireland branch […]

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. […]