The Welsh version of Challenging Religious Issues, issue 19, has now been published online. You can access both the Welsh and English versions for free by following this link:
Articles included in the latest issue
Mindfulness and McMindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are part of the way Buddhists shape and express their religious identity. Mindfulness has become more ‘mainstream’ recently in Western society as a means of therapy for specific health disorders and also to promote subjective wellbeing – leading to an understanding of mindfulness that contrasts with that of traditional Buddhists. This essay seeks to describe the three phases of adaptation of mindfulness in the West, while sketching how meditation and mindfulness are understood more traditionally, the tensions ‘commercial’ mindfulness has created for the community of traditional Buddhist practitioners, and diverse ways these issues have been resolved in the present.
The Morality of Forgiveness
Forgiveness has become a focus of discussion among contemporary theologians and philosophers. This article looks at the place of resentment in forgiveness, what forgiveness is not and three different kinds of responses that people call ‘forgiving’. Each of the responses is evaluated.
What can the 2021 Census Really Tell us about the Religious Composition of England and Wales?
This article draws on the headline statistics from the religion question in the 2021 census for England and Wales in order to examine what can and what cannot be deduced from these statistics, and to explore why the religion question remains an important part of mapping the ‘social and civil condition’ of the population in the 21st century. The inclusion of this question in the census is evidence of the continuing public significance of religion.
A Process-Relational Theology
Ancient Greek views on what the world is like have served as the foundation for classical Christian views on what God is like. Unfortunately, this world-view is outdated and has contributed to an incoherent theology that is increasingly unpalatable for young generations. If 21st century Christianity is to remain compelling, it will need to articulate a view of God that is consistent with modern scientific insights, personal experiences and basic intuitions. Doing so will require a new philosophical foundation — an alternative to the Ancient Greek world-view. That is what process-relational theology seeks to do. This essay offers a brief critique of classical theism and an introduction to the process-relational view of God.
James Lovelock and the Gaia Hypothesis
James Lovelock and others have argued that biological life on Earth affects the physical and chemical conditions of the atmosphere, oceans and other environmental variables, in a way that keeps the environment constant and in a state comfortable for life. This article explores and critiques this ‘Gaia hypothesis’.
Christian Eschatological Engagement with the Book of Revelation: From Apocalypse to Amillennialism
The Book of Revelation offers up some of the most graphic depictions of a fiery judgement set to befall humanity at an undetermined point in the future. These images speak vividly of the context from which Revelation emerged and have presented Christians in subsequent centuries with much to consider about how to relate them to their own times. This article takes a look at both this period of emergence and Revelation’s subsequent interpretation.
The Psalms as a Guide for Christian Living
This article offers an introduction to the Psalms and their place within the biblical tradition. It raises some issues about the understanding of God which emerges from the Psalms, what religious experiences can be discerned in them and how their religious language is used. There then follows a more detailed explanation of parts of two Psalms and a look at the way Christians use the Psalms in communal worship and prayer, and whether they serve as a guide for Christian living.