Wednesday, 29 August 2012

We need more 'disorganised religion'

Michael Marten from the Critical Religion Research Group at the University of Stirling was recently invited to be part of a public conversation at Edinburgh’s Festival of Spirituality and Peace on the theme ‘Disorganised Religion’.

He writes: "I was asked to offer comment on how I see understandings of ‘religion’ changing and to reflect on whether ‘disorganised religion’ is a helpful term to reflect on questions of religion.  The conversation was chaired by Ekklesia’s Simon Barrow, and Ian Milligan from Exploring Anabaptism in Scotland and the Bert community in Glasgow was the other discussant.  The event was sponsored by Ekklesia and the Iona Community." 

"This blog entry is a lightly-edited and slightly expanded version of my opening remarks, reflecting also some of the comments from the 60+ audience who came to the conversation; warm thanks to them for their insights," says Michael.  

Read the full blog here.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The faithful way to peace

That God is a God of just-peace not violence is the revelation of Christ and the real truth of Christianity, two leading church figures have said.

One was a Catholic and the other a Presbyterian. But the tenor of the conversation is one that many Anabaptists and those influenced by the Historic Peace Church tradition will resonate with.

The comments came as part of a conversation entitled ‘The Spirituality and Practice of Peace in a World of War’, held at St John’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh on 22 August 2012.

The participants in the Festival of Peace and Spirituality conversation were Fr John Dear, a Catholic priest and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and the Rev Kathy Galloway, head of Christian Aid Scotland and a former leader of the Iona Community. It was chaired by Brian Larkin, coordinator of the Peace and Justice Centre at St John's.

More here.

Monday, 20 August 2012

More from the Festival

Here''s coming up this week at the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, where Exploring Anabaptism Scotland recently shared a conversation platform on the topic of Disorganised Religion. We will be reporting more on that shortly...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Festival of Spirituality and Peace

Exploring Anabaptism in Scotland is involved in the 2012 Festival of Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh, through the public conversation  Disorganised Religion (Thursday 9th August, 5.45pm at St John's Church, Princes Street). There's much else to look out for, too...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Anabaptism and Disorganised Religion

We live in an era where people are inquisitive about spirituality, but hugely distrustful or even hostile towards ‘organised religion’, especially in its Christian forms.

But there are strong anti-institutional and non-hierarchical traditions in Christianity and beyond.

Can Anabaptists, Quakers, Nonconformists and loyal dissenters from within the major streams of Christianity offer a new vision of faith and an alternative to top-down religion?

Join the ‘vast minority’ at the Festival of Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh to discuss what a radical reformation in the Church has to offer - and how this relates to the wider demography of religious and belief-based change in a globalising world.

The event takes place on Thursday 9 August, from 5.45pm - 7pm, at St John’s (Venue 127), corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, Edinburgh. £6.50 (£4.50 concessions).

Speakers: Ian Milligan, from Exploring Anabaptism in Scotland and the Bert community in Glasgow; Simon Barrow, co-director of Ekklesia, trstee for the Mennonite Centre Trust and former global mission secretary for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland; and Michael Marten, co-founder of the ‘Critical Religion’ research group at the University of Stirling. In partnership with the Iona Community ( and Ekklesia.

* Book now via the Hub