A JOURNAL OF PROGRESSIVE RELIGION PUBLISHED TWICE A YEAR AT HARRIS MANCHESTER COLLEGE, OXFORD, ENGLAND


The Latest Issue

The Spring and Summer 2017 issue of Faith and Freedom (volume 70 Part 1, Number 184) is now available. It has a striking picture of an Eagle Owl taken from an engraving by Thomas Bewick's 1797 book Land Birds on the cover.

In this new issue we are again delighted to have some really fascinating articles. These include Phillip Hewett outlining his research in pre- and post-Communist Poland for his book Racovia. He compares his experiences in Poland with those of Earl Morse Wilbur decades earlier. We are delighted to have too Johnston McMaster's in-depth examination of Francis Hutcheson and the Social Vision of Eighteenth-Century Radical Presbyterians and Stephen Lingwood's timely consideration of a Theology of Unitarian Ministry. Dan C. West discusses the way faith can cross boundaries and make connections and Howard Oliver discusses The Art and Theology of Thomas Bewick.

Faith and Freedom is always particularly strong in its reviews section and we are delighted to once again welcome some important reviews by top writers.

With the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses in mind, Professor Ian Hazlett, leading Reformation scholar and former Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Glasgow, reviews Scott H. Hendrix's Yale University Press book Martin Luther Visionary Reformer. Professor David Williams reviews Yuval Noah Harari's newest book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and Philippe Sands' East West Street: on the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity. Lena Cockroft reviews Dan Hotchkiss' Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership, which is a major contribution to the theory of church administration. Marcus Braybrooke, Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths, looks at Main Religions of the Modern World and the Two Forms of any Religion by Antony Fernando, and Frank Walker reviews Emmanuel Carrere's extraordinary and controversial novel The Kingdom.

The Autumn and Winter 2016 issue of Faith and Freedom (Volume 69 part 2, Number 183) is now available.

It features a picture of a fourteenth-century carved figure of a pilgrim in Chester Cathedral on its cover. In it leading expert on Welsh poet-priest R.S. Thomas, Professor John McEllhenney, discusses the poet's annotations of Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology and Theology of Culture. Interpretation of Tillich also features in Plinio de Goes' examination of the theology of 'fashionable rebel pastor' Jay Bakker and his Revolution Church. Jay Bakker is the son of the notorious TV evangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker but rejected their kind of style and developed a different type of church identified as 'hipster Christianity'. We also carry the full text of Tehmina Kazi's keynote address to the 2016 Unitarian GA, she is the former Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy and now works for the Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance. Yvonne Craig, a retired social worker and former JP, gives some careful thought to the question to false accusations of sexual abuse in 'Blaming, Naming, Shaming and Biblical Justice'. Katharine Parsons discusses 'God and the Problem of Language' and Barrie Needham unpacks the novels of Marilynne Robinson. There are also accounts from Alan Ruston and David Wykes of the events marking the 300th anniversary of the death of Dr Daniel Williams.

Faith and Freedom is always very strong in its reviews and this issue has Bob Janis-Dillon on refugees and asylum, Maud Robinson on Quaker views of assisted dying, Ernest Baker on Benjamin Franklin in London, Andrew Hill on Bryan Tully's humanist anthology, and Rosemary Arthur on Bishop John Shelby Spong as well as reviews of Marsilio Ficino, Sue Woolley's new book, Jennifer Kavanagh's Simplicity Made Easy and Alan Ruston's new collection of historical biographies.

The Autumn and Winter 2016 issue of Faith and Freedom (Volume 69 part 2, Number 183) is now available.

It features a picture of a fourteenth-century carved figure of a pilgrim in Chester Cathedral on its cover. In it leading expert on Welsh poet-priest R.S. Thomas, Professor John McEllhenney, discusses the poet's annotations of Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology and Theology of Culture. Interpretation of Tillich also features in Plinio de Goes' examination of the theology of 'fashionable rebel pastor' Jay Bakker and his Revolution Church. Jay Bakker is the son of the notorious TV evangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker but rejected their kind of style and developed a different type of church identified as 'hipster Christianity'. We also carry the full text of Tehmina Kazi's keynote address to the 2016 Unitarian GA, she is the former Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy and now works for the Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance. Yvonne Craig, a retired social worker and former JP, gives some careful thought to the question to false accusations of sexual abuse in 'Blaming, Naming, Shaming and Biblical Justice'. Katharine Parsons discusses 'God and the Problem of Language' and Barrie Needham unpacks the novels of Marilynne Robinson. There are also accounts from Alan Ruston and David Wykes of the events marking the 300th anniversary of the death of Dr Daniel Williams.

Faith and Freedom is always very strong in its reviews and this issue has Bob Janis-Dillon on refugees and asylum, Maud Robinson on Quaker views of assisted dying, Ernest Baker on Benjamin Franklin in London, Andrew Hill on Bryan Tully's humanist anthology, and Rosemary Arthur on Bishop John Shelby Spong as well as reviews of Marsilio Ficino, Sue Woolley's new book, Jennifer Kavanagh's Simplicity Made Easy and Alan Ruston's new collection of historical biographies.

The Spring and Summer 2016 issue of Faith and Freedom (Volume 69 Part 1, Number 182)

There's a great deal in it, including Rachel Muers' and Rhiannon Grant's examination of the subtle checks and balances of Quaker decision-making processes in 'At the Threshold of Community'. Ralph Catts discusses 'Child spiritual development and the role of a liberal church' and Victor Lal gives us the third part of his research on 'The Unitarians of the West and the Brahmo Samajees of the East at Manchester College, Oxford 1896 /7ndash; 1948'. Indeed the cover picture on the latest issue includes an Indian 15P. stamp dating from 1967 and featuring Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was Upton Lecturer in Comparative Religion, Manchester College, Oxford, from 1929 to 1930, later becoming President of India between 1962 and 1967. Dan C. West discusses 'The Emerging Church' and Susan Fogarty examines questions of 'Faith Tourism' in the context of poet and Welsh Anglican minister R.S. Thomas. Mark Adair's paper 'Once upon a time' takes as its starting point a line of dialogue from the 1987 film Planes, Trains and Automobiles: "Everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate… Here's a good idea: have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener…"

With reviews by Martin Fitzpatrick, Marcus Braybrooke, Pat Frankish, Rosemary Arthur, Lena Cockroft, and Iain Brown there's much that will interest any reader on a whole range of subjects.

The Autumn and Winter 2015 issue of Faith and Freedom (Volume 68 Part 2, Number 181):

This issue contains a highly pertinent article by leading US Catholic theologian John Navone Finding God in Strangers, and an examination of the way we read Mark's gospel by author and UU minister George Kimmich Beach. Yvonne Craig give s personal reflection on Grace and Disgrace: A Social Pilgrimage and two articles are reflective of the centenary of the First World War with the editor's account of the Rev Percival Godding's experience as a prisoner of war and Evelyn Taylor's discussion of the impact of the war on Manchester College. The College also features in the second part of Victor Lal's research onto the Brahmo Samaj and Oxford, and short and illuminating articles are provided by Barrie Needham and Sue Norton. As well as this there are stimulating reviews by, among others, Pat Frankish, Ernest Baker, Peter B. Godfrey, and Lena Cockroft, and a review article on Sarah Shaw's The Spirit of Buddhist Meditation (Yale University Press) written by Graham Murphy.

Spring and Summer 2015 (Volume 68, Part 1, Number 180).

In it Professor Barrie Needham uses John Henry Newman's 'Grammar of Assent' to discuss the place of rationality in religion, particularly for those who claim to take a progressive approach. In 'Only Connect', Tony Cross, former Principal of Manchester College, Oxford, gives his personal reflections on his pioneering work in promoting gay and straight integration in the 1960s and 1970s. Clair Linzey, deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, shares her theology of animal welfare and Victor Lal discusses the historical interaction between British Unitarians and the Brahmo Samaj. We also continue with Donald Bailey's detailed research into the identity and significance of John II Sigismund of Transylvania, the only Unitarian king in history, and he provides a crucial and fascinating genealogy for the king's family. With stimulating and essential reviews of contemporary works by David A. Williams, Martin Keiffer, Donald A. Bailey, Francine Magill, and Andrew Clarke these cover topics as varied as human development, science and religion, the nature of God, Christian belief, and religion and politics in the USA.

The Autumn/Winter 2014 issue contains

In it Donald A. Bailey discusses the facts about "The Only Unitarian King in History" – King John Sigismund II of Hungary:

What do we know about him and the geo-political circumstances of his family, life and reign? Was he really a king, or only a prince? What did he reign over and how effectively?…

Phillip Hewett gives his personal thoughts on sixty years of ministry, reflecting on pilgrimage, labyrinths and the writings of John Philip Newell and Edwin Muir in "The Golden Harvester":

I was well into my ninetieth year, and as is not unusual at that point in life, looked back from time to time over the road that had been travelled. I came to realize how significant the theme of pilgrimage has been for me, not so consciously at first, but increasingly so as time went by. I have made my way to many places I have felt to have a special meaning, either because of their association with memorable persons or events, or through intangible qualities that have caused them to widely recognized as holy.

Yvonne Craig writes about the power of words to heal and hurt in "In the Beginning was the Word"; Dan West explores the choices that come with freedom of religion in "Commitment without Coercion?"; there is the full text with notes of Alan Ruston's John Relly Beard Lecture "Two Hundred Years Being Legal"; and Moyra Donaldson's poem "Greba Cras".

Plus many significant, challenging and exciting reviews covering religious history; the encounter between Unitarianism, Judaism and Islam; Mark's gospel; the nature of God; religious art in the Renaissance; God, sexuality and the self; poetry, ministry; the religious implications of Dr Who and much more.

The Spring/Summer issue 2014 contains

Pope Francis has named only one living theologian as a direct influence on his thinking – Italian-American Jesuit John Navone. In the Spring/Summer issue of Faith and Freedom we are delighted to have John Navone write exclusively about the challenges and priorities of Francis' papacy. In his first article on the subject for a British or European audience Professor Navone explains the Pope's interest in his thinking and gives a resume of his own 'Theology of Failure'.

Also in this issue John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford, writes about the place of doubt in faith, from a sermon delivered at Harris Manchester College Chapel; Frank Walker gives a 'Naturalistic Approach to the Christian Tradition' and devises his own statement of faith and Professor Kamran Mofid, of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, asks 'What does Spirituality Mean to You?'

Alongside this Trevor Parkhill gives an intensely moving account of the First World War experiences in hospitals at the front of Belfast-born Unitarian Emma Duffin (a direct descendant of William Drennan, the founder of the United Irishmen and a cousin of Thomas Andrews designer of the Titanic) who volunteered to serve as a nurse and spent three harrowing years tending the wounded. Throughout this time she kept a diary of her experiences which has now been transcribed by Trevor.

All this plus many lively reviews by Graham Murphy, Profesor David A. Williams, Professor Alan P.F. Sell, Andrew Clark, Lena Cockroft, Peter B. Godfrey, Sue Norton, and David Steers.


The Autumn/Winter 2013 issue contains:

In 'The Two Annes' Rosemary Lloyd discusses the story of two exceptional women in 17th century puritan Boston – Anne Bradstreet and Anne Hutchinson – one a poet, the other an outcast dragged before the courts because of her teaching and preaching.

Yvonne Craig examines the place of the home in religion in 'A Household of Faith: Hope and Humbug'.

Grace Blindell writes about a developing spiritual understanding in which the sacredness and interdependence of the whole universe becomes more central to our lives in 'Nothing has changed except the way I see things and so everything has changed'.

With the starting point of the 20th century American theologian H. Richard Niebuhr's ideas Dan West develops a new understanding of the relationship of Christ to culture ('Christ Ahead of Culture') and draws out, from a liberal perspective, the relevance of Jesus' teachings in this present age.

In 'Seeking Our Universalist Self' Don Bailey unpacks the history, ethos, identity and particular insights of Universalism.

All this plus some fascinating reviews including Professor David Howlett's review of Graham Murphy's new book 'Land of Sacred Legends'.

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