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Life without certainty: Margaret Atwood’s ambiguous worlds by Rachel Thorpe

Life without certainty: Margaret Atwood’s ambiguous worlds by Rachel Thorpe

Margaret Atwood is one of the most important and influential writers alive today. Her fiction explores and reflects the current cultural move away from metanarrative and towards fragmented notions of truth. She celebrates this new intellectual trend, whilst also revealing the damage done by its more confused, frustrated and narcissistic elements.

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Free sex: Who pays? by Guy Brandon

Free sex: Who pays? by Guy Brandon

Moral hazard and sexual ethics Summary Rather than addressing fundamental moral issues around sexual freedom, this paper starts with our culture’s premise by taking a utilitarian approach and exploring the financial impacts. This is in line with the common assumption that what truly matters for public policy can be quantified. It argues that significant costs […]

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Uniformity or mutuality? The new equality law in Christian perspective by Julian Rivers

Uniformity or mutuality? The new equality law in Christian perspective by Julian Rivers

    Abstract The Equality Act 2010 was the last major piece of legislation to be passed under the British ‘New Labour’ Government. This paper explains briefly what equality law does as well as two related groups of recent problem cases. It sets out a biblical foundation for the commitment to equality as well as […]

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Outside the frame: Postmodern art by Anne Roberts

Outside the frame: Postmodern art by Anne Roberts

  Summary This paper focuses on the scope and characteristics of recent conceptual and installation art, looking first at the early development of this genre, and then examining four major aspects: the exploration of visual language and appropriation of images; art based on autobiography; work which deals with social and environmental issues; and finally art […]

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The Great Financial Crisis: A biblical diagnosis by Paul Mills

The Great Financial Crisis: A biblical diagnosis by Paul Mills

  Summary: The self-destructive tendency of a debt-based financial system has been highlighted in earlier Cambridge Papers.[1] This lesson is being retaught with a vengeance by the current financial crisis. To diagnose our current plight, this paper expounds the biblical teaching on debt, interest, and finance; explains what is really going on from a relational […]

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Covert Power: Unmasking the world of witchcraft by Jonathan Burnside

Covert Power: Unmasking the world of witchcraft by Jonathan Burnside

      Summary Is witchcraft real? What do witches think they are doing when they engage in witchcraft? Why does the Bible have so much to say about witchcraft, and how does it apply to the typical Western materialist who doesn’t believe in witchcraft anyway? Witchcraft is often present in society because it expresses […]

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Eschatology and Politics: the last things we want to talk about? by Geoffrey Penn

Eschatology and Politics: the last things we want to talk about? by Geoffrey Penn

  Summary Christians fail to do justice to ‘politics’ when they seek to withdraw from the political arena or to use political power to dominate society. Similarly, Christians misunderstand ‘eschatology’ when they obsessively focus on debates about end-times chronology and when they effectively ignore it altogether. In each case, the purpose of biblical eschatology – […]

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Euthanasia and assisted suicide by John Wyatt

Euthanasia and assisted suicide by John Wyatt

  Summary The arguments in favour of the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia are no longer focussed on unbearable suffering. Instead there is a rising demand for choice and control over the time and manner of our death, coupled with fears about the social and economic consequences of increasing numbers of elderly and dependent […]

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Introducing the Cambridge Papers Writing Group

Introducing the Cambridge Papers Writing Group

The Cambridge Papers Thinking about contemporary issues The aim of Cambridge Papers is to make clear the relevance of biblical teaching to a range of contemporary issues and to equip Christians to respond to the ideas which are shaping our society. Cambridge Papers seeks to make a strategic Christian contribution to public debate at a […]

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Beyond Capitalism: Towards a Relational Economy by Michael Schluter

Beyond Capitalism: Towards a Relational Economy by Michael Schluter

Western societies face economic decline and political instability due in significant part to the five moral flaws of Capitalism and their severe social consequences.[2] A radical new economic vision is urgently needed. This paper proposes a way forward through five strategies: embed relational values, strengthen household balance sheets, empower extended families, engage capital providers and entrust welfare to local communities. These changes are mutually reinforcing because they all reform economic life so as to strengthen personal bonds in the local and wider communities. They point towards the Christian vision of a ‘Relational economy’.

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‘To release the oppressed’: Reclaiming a biblical theology of liberation by John Coffey

‘To release the oppressed’: Reclaiming a biblical theology of liberation by John Coffey

  Summary Liberation is one of the great slogans of modern politics and one of the major themes of the Bible. The Exodus from Egyptian bondage was the foundational narrative of the Jewish nation, and Jesus inaugurated his ministry by announcing that he had come ‘to release the oppressed’. Scripture teaches that Christ brings redemption […]

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Is Capitalism Morally Bankrupt? Five moral flaws and their social consequences by Michael Schluter

Is Capitalism Morally Bankrupt? Five moral flaws and their social consequences by Michael Schluter

    Summary Many Christians accept Capitalism as broadly in line with biblical teaching. Its economic success appears to vindicate attribution of its origins to Christian theology.[3] This confidence in Capitalism as the best available economic system has meant that Christians have failed to recognise that it is one of the main drivers of social […]

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Enhancing humans or a new creation? by Denis Alexander

Enhancing humans or a new creation? by Denis Alexander

    Summary Enhancement involves giving abilities integral to the body beyond those we would normally consider a human to possess. Transhumanism is an influential philosophy based on human autonomy in which enhancement technologies play a central role. This paper summarises transhumanism, describes the scope of current enhancing technologies, and provides a Christian critique, presenting […]

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Three principles for Christian citizens by Julian Rivers

Three principles for Christian citizens by Julian Rivers

  Summary Three basic types of argument have a proper place as Christians engage in public life. These are arguments from the common good, from institutional independence, and from conscientious witness. They are all authentic expressions of the Christian political tradition, well-grounded in Scripture. They express three principles for Christian citizens. However, all three are […]

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Unity and diversity: the church, race and ethnicity by Sujit Sivasundaram

Unity and diversity: the church, race and ethnicity by Sujit Sivasundaram

  Summary The affirmation of ethnic diversity can give the individual believer and the local congregation a sense of cohesion and belonging. Yet, if ethnicity becomes a primary criterion defining identity, we risk marginalising ethnic minorities. This paper brings the twin principles of unity and diversity to bear on four contexts: the individual Christian, the […]

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Do we need a Christian university? by Nigel Paterson

Do we need a Christian university? by Nigel Paterson

    Summary The concept of a university was substantially a Christian innovation, yet most modern universities are secular institutions. This paper surveys briefly the historical background which shows how this came about and the institutional landscape of higher education today. Next, biblical perspectives applicable to all Christians involved in higher education are explored. At […]

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The Law of Love by David McIlroy

The Law of Love by David McIlroy

    Summary The Bible is clear that to love God involves seeking to be obedient to God. Being God’s people involves seeking to make wise decisions about the way in which God wants us to live. Jesus commands his followers to love God and our neighbours. In working out what that means, followers of […]

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By any other name? ‘Fundamentalist’ and ‘evangelical’ as terms of public discourse by Christopher Watkin

By any other name? ‘Fundamentalist’ and ‘evangelical’ as terms of public discourse by Christopher Watkin

  Summary Whatever the words ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘evangelical’ may once have meant, their current use in public discourse is largely negative, save notable references to ‘evangelical social action’. Any adequate response to this situation must include a recognition of the different historical provenances of the two terms, and an understanding of their current public usage. […]

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Promises, promises by Caroline Eade

Promises, promises by Caroline Eade

  Summary We all make promises, whether informally, to our friends and family, or formally, in contracts, deeds and vows. Promises are made by companies, governments and international leaders. It seems obvious that a promise carries moral weight. Nevertheless, all of us make rash agreements, or over-commit ourselves, or entirely forget what we have said, […]

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