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Author: Esther McIntosh

Abstract

Domestic violence is an on-going problem, especially for women. Moreover, feminist theologians have criticized the Christian churches for failing to respond adequately both to the violence itself and to the underlying theology that supports and legitimizes the subordination of women; in particular, this includes the concept of sacrifice. With the release of the Church of England's guidelines on 'Responding to Domestic Abuse', it is time for public theology to reconsider the feminist critique. This article sets out the historical background of the Christian concept of sacrifice, explains the feminist critique of it and then assesses the role of self-love in answer to the feminist critique; finally, it attempts to make sense of why and how we might still value some sacrifice, while taking feminist concerns seriously.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Esther McIntosh

Abstract

The Nicholas Wolterstorff-Robert Audi debate surrounding the role of religious reasons in public debate remains unresolved in the United States. Alternatively, but relatedly, when politicians and Archbishops in the UK mention God the media react with force. This article seeks a more balanced reaction to the faith of politicians and Archbishops and a solution to the Wolterstorff-Audi debate. First, this article teases out the extent to which John Macmurray's philosophy of community is or is not evident in New Labour politics; secondly, it expounds Macmurray's alternative ‘communitarianism’ by examining his account of church-state relations; thirdly, it introduces the philosophical notion of supervenience to provide a proper account of the relation between religious reasons and secular reasons in public debate and, finally, it provides an example of a ‘community’ that satisfies the essential criteria of Macmurray's definition. Thus, in addition to revealing the contemporary relevance of Macmurray's work and the misunderstandings surrounding the notion of community, this article engages with an ongoing international conversation on the ethics of religious voices in public places and proposes a solution to the Wolterstorff-Audi debate.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Esther McIntosh

This article flips on its head Grace Davie’s notion of ‘believing without belonging’. From a consideration of the internet and social networking media as a public space and a new ‘public’ or fifth estate, the article proceeds through a discussion of religious activity online to investigate the concept of community, the function of communication theology and the place of morality in online activity. Finally, the article considers the popularity of Sunday Assembly and concludes that there is a significant move towards belonging without believing both on- and offline.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: A Companion to Public Theology
Faith-based Organizing in the USA
Despite shifts in the religious landscape in North America--reflected in the significant increase in those with no religious affiliation and emptier pews across the religious spectrum--there has also been a rise in participation in faith-based grassroots organizations. People of faith are increasingly joining broad-based organizing efforts to seek social change in their communities, regions and country.
This unique volume brings together the most current thinking on faith-based organizing from the perspective of theologians, social researchers and practitioners. The current state of faith based organizing is critically presented, as it has evolved from its roots in the mid-twentieth century into a context which raises new questions for its philosophical assumptions, methodology, and very future.

Originally published as issue 4 of Volume 6 (2012) of Brill's International Journal of Public Theology.
In: Yours the Power
In: Yours the Power