Autumn 2015

Editorial

Colour pictures are on offer once again in this issue of SEARCH – this time to illustrate Dr Gesa Thiessen’s reflections on art as theology. The Church’s emphasis on words is too exclusive, she contends. Sometimes the visual image speaks more strongly to our spirit.
Colour pictures are on offer once again in this issue of SEARCH – this time to illustrate Dr Gesa Thiessen’s reflections on art as theology. The Church’s emphasis on words is too exclusive, she contends. Sometimes the visual image speaks more strongly to our spirit. But words are important too, so we are grateful to Prof Paul Ballard for his thoughts on how Christians can together make the Bible truly central to our lives, always seeking a deeper understanding for today. This has bearing on two further items on the menu this season: first, a compendium of thoughts from different constituencies on the “Reality Check” for the churches, urged by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin in relation to the spring’s referendum result in the Republic; and second, the work over 50 years of the Corrymeela Community, explored by its current leader Pádraig Ó Tuama. Both these subjects require ecumenical openness and thoughtful reflection on the central message of scripture in relation to the realities of our 21st century world. Among the challenges facing us today are the now undeniable threat to humankind’s survival of our reluctance to combat the climate change we have ourselves caused; Europe’s migrant crisis; and the question of patronage and enrolment policy in our national or primary schools. These subjects are addressed respectively by Noel Coghlan, former archdeacon Gordon Linney, and Eoin de Bhaldraithe, a Cistercian monk with a lively desire for peace and cooperation between the Roman Catholic and Anglican / reformed churches in Ireland. Finally we offer the fourth in our series in the service of preachers and congregations reflecting on the biblical readings of the upcoming season. We are grateful to Rev Dr Janet Unsworth of Edgehill College for her thoughts on “Preaching from Luke in Advent”. Book reviews are offered by an array of senior clergy: Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Dr Maurice Elliott, Dr Michael Kennedy, Dr Patrick McGlinchey, Ronnie Nesbitt, and Robert Lawson. Readers are kindly requested to renew their subscriptions to SEARCH, using one of the subscription forms at the back of this issue. No one on the SEARCH editorial team is paid for their highly valued work, but we do have to pay our excellent printers! MANY THANKS!

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