Comments: CofE and RC bishops meet

"Hitting. Shouting. And hitting and shouting."

Wonderfully evocative phrase, +Tom! (There's been far *too much* of that in the AC of late)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 14 November 2006 at 11:37pm GMT

Ruth Gledhill's article also had this in it:

"Dr Rowan Williams will launch Britain's first research project into the nature of the relationship between religion and civil society. The Manchester Research Institute for Religion and Civil Society will analyse how religion relates to public and private sector service provision, globalisation, political economy, democracy, belief, secularism and political action on climate change."

About time somebody did this.

It would be good to have a number of similar projects being done in a number of different countries. The variety of reports and recommendations would help formulate some generic patterns. It would help people tease out what the core issues and dynamics that need to be taken into account to develop robust and just societies.

The benefits of a multi-pronged strategy can be learnt from the recent orchestrated work on regional environmental responses to global warming and sustainability. While developing local solutions, by sharing information there are also developing viable global mental models.

It's all about integrating into a more orchestrated picture. The more players and types of instruments, the more sophisticated the symphony. But it relies on good communication and cooperation to not degenerate into a cacophany.

And to bring it back to Protestants and Catholics co-operating, this Giles Fraser column from Ekklesia is worth reading

Just societies are not societies where the bullying elite have institionalised the silence of the oppressed. There is a place for the secular voice and for the religious voice. For Protestants and Catholics. For Christian and Muslim... To paraphrase the formation of the Democrats in Australia, a third party influencing the outcomes on key issues "keeps the bas _ _ _ _ s honest".

I hope in that in least one of these research projects somebody has the sense to consider the merits of preferential voting and capping funding of elections. There are some nations where the first past the post system is failng abysmally. Similarly, the money spent on bribing people to vote could be better spent helping alleviate poverty and restoring the planet and its occupants wellbeing.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 15 November 2006 at 2:12pm GMT

Part of this civil society thing is Christian Unions being excluded from official recognition, either because they won't change their names or seen to be discriminatory or the rather daft one of having to accept non-Christians (I suppose as they define them) on their boards.

The point is this, and relevant to this Nigeria thing too: is it the mission of Christianity to uphold discrimination against various different people. If it is, then civil society will say, "OK you can stay as private groups maintaining this, but we are moving on thanks very much." Trouble is I'd rather move on too, with the faith.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 15 November 2006 at 9:44pm GMT
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