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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Postcard from Moscow

Clive Fairclough reflects on Russian attitudes to Brexit. He notes that Russian Christians are deeply skeptical as to why Britain would want to be in the EU. At the same time however their own Soviet experience leads them to acknowledge that leaving can lead to isolation and in time degradation.

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Thinking creatively about Europe

Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and current Master of Magdalene College Cambridge shares his fear that if Britain steps back from Europe it will be stepping back from its own heritage. In Britain we have not done too badly in sharing with and learning from others. In talking in isolationist terms we run the risk of nailing our colours to a myth.

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Rediscovering Europe’s values

Whatever the results of the June referendum, the challenges facing Europe’s leaders will persist. Francis Campbell makes the case that rediscovering the values that have shaped Europe would help leaders with a grapple with the challenges whether that be the debt crisis or the refugee crisis. He argues that if we can look beyond our differences and guard our national interests less jealously, we will see that every EU citizen has shared values and a common identity and a commitment to live within and promote a shared pluralist space.

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Making sense of Boris and Gert

Writing from the Hague, Andrew Gready explains that some of the arguments brought up by Boris (and others) frankly seem to baffle the Dutch. He notes that although the EU is not problem free, the Dutch are at least able to see some of the positive benefits that belonging to a bigger whole has brought. It seems that they hoped that the debate in the UK would be more positive, more constructive than it has been to date.

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Identity and risk (2)

In the second of two blogs, Philip Giddings explores Christian understandings of risks, and uncertainty and how they apply to the EU referendum. He writes that for Christians ultimate security can only be found in Almighty God. This means not having to give way to fear or fatalism in the EU referendum debates: rather we take confidence in His promise that as we walk with Him risk gives way to security and together in Him we find our true identity.

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Identity and risk (1)

In the first of two opinion pieces Philip Giddings explores Christian perspectives on identity. Giddings makes the point that whatever view we take of our national history, culture, or of the differences and similarities we have with the citizens of neighbouring states, we recognize that as creatures of Almighty God they share with us the possibility of a common identity in Christ, an identity which He calls upon us to share.

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Springtime in Helsinki

Tuomas Mäkipää a priest of the Anglican Church in Helsinki explains how the harsh weather conditions in Finland as well as its geographical location shape how the Finns think about politics not least the politics of the EU.

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Defending Europe’s peace

In this blog, Joost Röselaers, a minister of the Dutch Church in London, makes the case that faced with a series of unprecedented crises we need more Europe not less. As part of this effort he argues for the development of a EU army to defend Europe’s peace against Russian aggression and Islamic terrorism.

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Brexit debate risks exacerbating division in Northern Ireland

Katy Hayward, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in Queen’s University Belfast, looks at how the possibility of Brexit is already exacerbating division in Northern Ireland. She shows that there are few European regions that have benefited quite so evidently from EU membership as Northern Ireland, but that these gains risk being called into question with the possibility of Brexit.

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