‘No religion’ is steadily becoming the norm in the British population, according to Professor Linda Woodhead’s sociological research . I have referred to this before but it continues to attract attention. Here I focus on whether the meanings of the words contribute to this pattern. Linda says:
The growth of no religion isn’t sudden; there has been a steady and gradual rise over a fairly long period. I suspect it’s been taking place for at least a century or more. The question is whether it’s speeding up now.
Modern Church’s annual conference Performing the Faith: Shakespeare in the World took place earlier this week.
It was chaired, in a gentle and encouraging way, by Alison Milbank. Not being an expert on Shakespeare I was not sure how much I would get out of it, but in the event I was fascinated by every talk. This post consists of brief remarks. Photos are here .
Friday’s Church Times contains some interesting articles about the Brexit situation. One is by Philip North , the Bishop of Burnley. It’s behind a paywall but here is the relevant bit:
History suggests that, whenever there is economic uncertainty or recession, it is the poor who suffer disproportionately… It is the jobs of the low-paid that are the most vulnerable; it is those who depend on benefits who will suffer most from extended austerity; it is those who live with debt who have the most to fear.
Thomas Mair, the killer of Jo Cox, when asked in court to state his name, gave it as ‘Death to traitors, freedom for Britain’. You couldn’t find a stronger way to identify yourself as British.
In all the debates on the European Union, we have heard over and over again that ‘we’ are the British. For some, ‘we’ are also Europeans. For others, Europeans are the ‘they’ against whom we identify ourselves as British.
The murder of Jo Cox would have been a tragedy even if she had not been such a good MP, or an MP at all. Whenever a healthy young person dies our hearts go out to the family; but when it is a politically-motivated murder of a Member of Parliament because of the things she stood for, it is an event of national significance.
Ursula Haeckel, whom I met for the first time a week ago, has written the following letter to the Guardian. To me it speaks volumes.
The talks were organised by the European Movement and I was invited as a speaker on behalf of the Green Party .
There are left-wing and right-wing arguments for staying in, and left-wing and right-wing arguments for staying out. The mass media have concentrated on the right-wing arguments on both sides: sovereignty, economics, democracy and whether Boris Johnson dyes his hair.
Boris and Gove: We’ll bring in tough Australian points style system to slash arrivals from EU.
So says the front page of today’s Daily Mail. It continues:
Brexit would pave the way for an immigration revolution to slash numbers arriving from the EU, leading Out campaigners pledge today.
There is still hope for people like me.
On Monday night James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College in Salisbury, came to St Brides Liverpool to tell us about his research on ageing.
Whoever you are, the forces running the world are on your side
Parthians, Medes, Elamites… Cappadocia… the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene… If you have ever stood up in church to do the Bible reading on Pentecost, you will remember. How did you get on pronouncing all those place names? This post argues that we should now add Lesbos, Kos and Calais to the list.
I’ve been reading two very different arguments for Britain to stay in the EU. One is the pretty booklet spread round the country by the Government, Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK.
Nudge nudge wink wink. Some of the Government believe this. Others – a very substantial proportion – believe otherwise. But those others won’t have the option of sending a booklet to every house in the country, funded by the taxpaying recipients.