The ambition of Contending Modernities is to bring academic research into dialogue with policy-making and grassroots practice. Its east London research project – with the Contextual Theology Centre (CTC) – is focused on the ways that community organising enables diverse communities to work together to discern and promote a common good. As well as producing research papers, it is generating a number of resources for the wider community.
In 2012 the east London project produced a number of research reports and resources. In the coming weeks we will be posting blogs highlighting the research of members of the Contending Modernities research team in east London. The following resources are now available online:
A New Covenant of Virtue (pdf) – a collection of essays on Islamic engagement in broad-based community organising,
Organised Christians (pdf) – a report on the motivations of Christians engaged in community organising
From Goodness to God (pdf) – a report for the public theology think-tank Theos on whether morality needs religious foundations – and what implications this might have for the role of faith in public life
With good reason? – a podcast of the debate on morality and religion at the London School of Economics which launched From Goodness to God
Making sense of the census
The UK Government has just begun to publish the findings of the 2011 Census – with the first batch of statistics relating to religious affiliation in England and Wales. Unsurprisingly, the three statistics which attracted most media interest were the proportion of citizens declaring themselves to be Christian, Muslim or of no religion. The research being conducted by Contending Modernities speaks into this debate, and recently the Contextual Theology Centre held a workshop for clergy in multi-religious contexts on ‘Making Sense of the Census’.
The Holy Family – and the story of today’s refugees
Contending Modernities’ east London research has a particular focus on the experience of migrants and refugees – which is informing the Contextual Theology Centre’s wider work with British churches. In partnership with The Children’s Society, the Centre recently produced a short film relating the Biblical account of flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to the experience of refugee families in the UK today. It has also produced a leaflet to help congregations listen, pray and act on asylum issues.
Canon Dr. Angus Ritchie is the founding Director of the Contextual Theology Centre in east London and a Research Associate at the Faculty of Philosophy in Oxford University. His first book, From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments, which explores the theistic foundations of morality, was published by Oxford University Press in November 2012.