Sunday, May 29, 2016

Engaging the Powers

Last Sunday, over coffee after the service, the congregation were invited to listen to a debate of the sort that regularly happens in the church cafe between Fr Vince and Hamish about theology and social justice. It was fascinating and thought-provoking stuff. The occasion was to launch Hamish's new website  which Dominic has put together for him to make accessible various user-friendly digests of important books about the Powers which affect our world, to arm ourselves to respond intelligently to major issues that organisations like Christian Aid respond to. The website explains:

‘The Powers’ today are the big international corporations, the international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank and also the governments of the rich Western powers, particularly those of the US and the EU which includes the UK. 
Churchgoers and those of Christian sympathies are all too familiar with the devastating effects of famines, wars, floods and other natural disasters around the world, and they commit themselves to offering support in the form of cash, practical help and in many cases personal work at disaster sites.
The activities of ‘the Powers’ are less well understood. Campaigning charities like Christian Aid and Global Justice Now draw our attention, fairly forcibly, to their more direct depredations such as the ruthless exploitation of indigenous people in areas where gold and other mineral mining take or to the exorbitant and unfair demands that big corporations make on poorer countries as the price for bringing them foreign investment.There is today a growing body of literature which sheds light on the activities of ‘the Powers’ not only in more detail than media headlines can convey but also revealing the enormous increase in their activities and influence over the past 30 years, much of it hidden from public view.

The website gives us the opportunity to understand the arguments without having to find time to read all the books.

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