Understanding Evil, Encouraging Forgiveness: Lessons from Rwanda 20 years on

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. Both then and now, the international community had many unanswered questions about how the genocide occurred and how the evil that was perpetrated could have happened. In today’s post, Erin Wilson reflects on what religion teaches us about evil, but also about forgiveness, …

A secular saint? The Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela

The inevitable moment of Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s departure from this world came last Thursday evening, 5 December. Given that he had been so frail for some time, his death was not unexpected, yet that does not lessen the impact of his loss. As South Africa and the world honour his life through various services and …

Be Welcome: Lessons in Hospitality from Victor Hugo and Monseigneur Bienvenu Part Two

Following on from Tuesday's post, Erin Wilson writes more on how the faithful hospitality of Victor Hugo's character Monseigneur Bienvenu from Les Miserables can contribute to contemporary political issues, in particular statelessness and migration. The problem of statelessness emphasises most acutely the power imbalance that exists within global politics between the state and individuals. Hannah …

Be Welcome: Lessons in Hospitality from Victor Hugo and Monseigneur Bienvenu Part One

Erin Wilson reflects on the religious themes present within Les Miserables and how they speak to contemporary political issues. My husband and I went to see the latest film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables over the weekend. As a long time fan of the story and the musical, I have always been struck by …

Moving Beyond Reason vs Faith: The Role of Religion in Responding to Climate Change Part One

Following on from Lea Schulte-Droesch's piece on the interconnections between culture and environment at the local level, Erin Wilson offers some reflections on the role of religion in the global climate change discussions and suggests that maybe we need to stop seeing science and faith as diametrically opposed. The global community is in the midst of its annual …

Change the language, change the story? Some thoughts on religion, conflict and peace in the Middle East and beyond Part Two

In today's post, Erin Wilson continues her reflections on shifting the way we think and talk about conflict and peace. In part one, I outlined some ways in which contemporary discussion on peace and conflict analysis is affected and arguably limited by thinking in narrow either/or terms and the language we use to talk about conflict. …

The Religion Factor: A missing link in Migration Studies? Part two

In the previous post Geertje den Oudsten shared with us her experience at a Summer School on Migration in Greek this summer and challenged the idea that religion can only be used as a classifactory concept in Migration Studies. Today part two. The reality of these migratory experiences are inescapable in current-day Greece. Against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, …