Archives for November 2011

Is there a spiritual cure for HIV?

William Crawley | 12:01 UK time, Friday, 25 November 2011

Sky News is reporting that "at least six people have died in Britain after being told they had been healed of HIV and could stop taking their medication", and they have evidence of evangelical churches in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow also claiming that people with HIV can be cured by spritual intervention.

These are extremely serious revelations which raise questions about the ethics of "healing" ministries in churches across the country. Not that every church or every healing ministry should be tarred with the same brush: responsible pastors would never advise anyone with HIV to stop taking their prescribed medicine, and those pastors would be the first to challenge those churches that have endangered people's lives with that advice.

Last month, the BBC reported on similar cases of HIV-positive people stop their medication on medication on the advice of pastors.

Click here for information on World Aids Day 2011.

The Great Ulster Book

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William Crawley | 13:46 UK time, Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Imagine a shelf of books in your home. But not just any books.

These are the best books, the most important books, the most celebrated or most deserving of celebration, to have come out of Northern Ireland.

In this series of the Book Programme, we go in search of The Great Ulster Book.

It could be a novel, a poetry collection, a history book, a memoir, a political book -- any book you think merits a place on our shelf.

You can use this thread to add your suggestions to the list of nominations from our programme guests or debate the place of any particular book.

What are we missing so far?

Which absolutely indispensable Ulster writer is not currently on our list?

Eureka Street by Robert MacLiam Wilson -- Glenn Patterson
State of Prisons by Sinead Morrissey -- Leon Litvack
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore -- Bernard McLaverty
Selected Poems by John Hewitt -- Michael Longley
Call My Brother Back by Michael McLaverty -- Grania McFadden
Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice -- Eunice Yeates
Burning Your Own by Glenn Patterson -- Carlo Gebler
The International by Glenn Patterson -- Liam Clarke
December Bride by Sam Hanna-Bell -- Fionola Meredith
The Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken by Mary McNeill -- Eamonn Phoenix
Ragged Edge by Stephen Davison --Claire McCollum
Tarry Flynn by Patrick Kavanagh -- Paddy Heaney
Lost Lives by McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton -- Nell McCafferty
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift -- Rosie Pelan
The Irish For No by Ciaran Carson -- Eamonn Hughes
The Annals of the World - James Ussher -- Rev Ian Paisley
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam MacBratney -- Melissa McCullough
The Punisher: Born by Garth Ennis -- David Booth
Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 by Seamus Heaney -- William Crawley

Is God behind all the evil in the world?

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William Crawley | 10:20 UK time, Sunday, 6 November 2011

It's one of the most difficult questions any priest or minister has to address in a sermon. How do you make sense of God's relationship with all the evil and suffering we see in the world?

Here's one approach to that crucial issue which doesn't pull its punches. It's a sermon by the Rev Dr AKM Adam (read his blog here), who lectures in New Testament studies at Glasgow University. The sermon in full is below the fold.

If you come across a sermon or address that raises interesting or original ideas worth exploring, let me know.

Read the rest of this entry

In the news ...

William Crawley | 13:08 UK time, Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Occupy protests outside St Paul's Cathedral continue to dominate the religion news agenda. Three cathedral clergy have now resigned and we've embarked on a full-scale public debate about whether the Church of England has lost the plot. You can comment on that debate here, or add suggestions to other stories worth noting.

Dr Giles Fraser addresses Occupy controversy in a Thought for the Day.
Archbishop of York attacks high-paid executives.
Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Why Royal family must stay Anglican'
Church of England vetoes services of blessing for same-sex couples
Ireland closure of Vatican embassy angers Catholic church leaders.
Richard Dawkins: 'Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist'
Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe.
Scientists and autism: When geeks meet.

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