Thanks for clicking by...

Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Please note, comments are (currently) unmoderated.

We’ve Been Here Before: Israel and the Cycle of Bullying

It’s Anti-Bullying Week here in school. In the assembly we had on it yesterday it struck me that what Israel is doing follows the archetypal bullying cycle almost perfectly. And it seems, as a ceasefire is thrashed out, that it will continue to do so. Bullies are clever. They pick on those who are weaker [...]

Share

Psychodynamics of the Middle East 101: Why America Needs Hell, and Israel Doesn’t Want Peace

With the recent flaring up of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian territory in Gaza the question has again been raised ‘will there ever be peace?’ My view, having visited the region a number of times, is that the leadership of Israel simply do not (yet) want peace. How can this be? How could a [...]

Share

Emerging Faith Must Be Combined with an Emerging Politics

The political shake-up in the Middle East is going to have serious repercussions across the West too. A democratic system does not prevent those with extremist views coming to power by the will of the people, and there are many in the US and Israel who are concerned that releasing Mubarak’s stranglehold in Egypt will [...]

Share

Developing Peace: TAZ, Empathy and Radical Listening

Was great to meet up with Kevin Corcoran again last night, who’s got another group of students from Calvin College in the US over in London and Belfast to explore issues of peace and reconciliation. I made some notes for a talk I gave to them which I thought I’d upload here. Please – these [...]

Share

Befriending Hitler… Befriending Sociopathic Institutions (Like the Church)

In the previous two posts { [ 1 ] [ 2 ] } I’ve been wondering whether a certain symmetry of relationship is needed if empathy is going to flow between two people. The springboard for this was Zizek critiquing the adage ‘an enemy is a friend whose story I have not yet heard’ by [...]

Share

Befriending Hitler

I’m currently enjoying one of Zizek’s new books, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce – an allusion to Marx’s introduction to his Eighteenth Brumaire in which he wrote: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great events and characters of world history occur, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the [...]

Share

Advent[ures] in Incarnation [7] | Jesus Was a #Palestinian

Born into occupation. Killed by a corrupt state. Growing in poverty Troubling to the rich Teller of wise tales Lover of good meals Accused of insurrection Disregarded by the courts Awkward for the powerful Bain of the religious Beaten by soliders Denied justice Tortured Forsaken Left for dead But never to be underestimated: Jewish, not [...]

Share

Advent[ures] in Incarnation [6] | Born Free and Equal in Dignity

Tomorrow (10th) is ‘International Human Rights Day,’ commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN. Article 1 famously reads: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Incarnation [...]

Share

“Pitting the Power of Culture Against the Culture of Power” | Israel Shuts Down Palestinian Literary Festival

Sad news. Petty abuse of power. Surely this is the sort of thing that Israel ought to be celebrating: a peaceful literary event, supported by UNESCO. Instead, they send in a squad of 12 armed police, while their politicians ignore international law and even pressure from to US, and announce they’ll keep expanding settlements. I [...]

Share

European Elections – Lobby for Peace in Israel/Palestine

Following a recent visit to Israel and Palestine to meet peacemakers from all sides and faiths, I was struck by just how important Europe is to the situation. Yes, the US has a major role in brokering peace, especially given their high levels of support of all kinds for Israel, and yes the other Middle [...]

Share