Re-placing Christianity After Lockdown

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near.” – Mark 1:15

“ We will not save a place we do not love. We cannot love a place we do not know.” – Baba Dioum (Senegalese Environmentalist) Ched Myers’ writing on Watershed Discipleship advocates for a Christianity that recognises we are in a watershed moment of interlocking crises of climate, consumption and ecological degradation. He calls for a refocussing of radical Christian discipleship on a bioregional basis of environmental …

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Considering Grace: An invitation to listen

Considering Grace: An invitation to listen by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 5 November 2019 Considering Grace, by Gladys Ganiel and Jamie Yohanis, is a new book that explores how Presbyterians responded to the Troubles, through a series of narratives from 120 people who tell their stories of how they coped with trauma and tests of their faith. The book was launched with a set of readings and short presentations at Assembly Buildings, Belfast, to an audience of several …

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The end of Catholic Ireland? @ESRCFestivalNI

The end of Catholic Ireland?  by Allan LEONARD 6 November 2018 In what Alan Meban described the event as a symposium (“but don’t say it was in a bar” [The Dark Horse Inn]), Dr Gladys Ganiel, a sociologist of religion from Queen’s University Belfast, laid out quantitative and qualitative findings about the apparent secularisation process in Ireland. This was discussed by fellow panellists Pádraig Ó Tuama (poet, theologian and leader of Corrymeela) and Professor Margaret O’Callaghan (historian, Queen’s University Belfast). …

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Presbyterians, Salvation, and God

We cremated my friend James on the freakishly warm Friday before St Patrick’s Day, between the two bouts of even freakier snow. We did this after a celebration of the Supper of the Lord Jesus Christ who was his Saviour and the anchor of his life. The daffodils bobbed in the sunshine as we took his coffin through the traffic from the church in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral to the crematorium in East Finchley, his terminus ad quem …

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Listening to the psychogeography of Belfast

One of the final events of the Four Corners Festival was a discussion on what was described as the psychogeography of the city of Belfast. A panel of four — with one connected via a video call — ruminated on their walking through the streets, along borders and through them, sharing their perspectives to an audience of about two dozen gathered at the freshly opened Girdwood Community Hub. The question to answer was what can we learn about a city …

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The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young girls, leaving her husband Sean confused and frustrated. “A Love Divided” was shown at Culturlann, as part of the Belfast Film Festival and organised in collaboration with Pieces of the Past oral history project. Sheila signed the Ne Temere contract, which obligated …

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Time for a clerical child abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland

Momentum is building for an inquiry into clerical child abuse in Northern Ireland. With four inquiries now completed south of the border – Ferns, Ryan, Dublin and now Cloyne – northern abuse victims are rightly asking: what about us? Their calls have now been echoed by SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: I absolutely believe there should be the same thorough investigations in the northern dioceses as there have been in previous dioceses in the south. We …

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