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Jubilee Centre, February 2014
Connecting Faith and Academic Life
Our second annual conference for postgraduates and others seeking to connect biblical thinking and an academic or professional discipline is on 26th April 2014.
Category: News & Research
Denis Alexander, January 2014 No comments
Price: £0.99 (free online)
This paper has three main aims. The first is to provide biological information to help with interpretation of the latest genetic discoveries. The second is to argue that there is nothing in contemporary behavioural genetics that subverts the profoundly human experience of acting freely. The third is to show that the Judaeo-Christian conviction that humankind is made in God's image provides a firm basis for human freedom and for the absolute value of each human individual irrespective of their genetic status.
Category: Cambridge Papers
Keywords: Science & Technology
Guy Brandon, January 2014
The Big State. It takes care of us. Schools, police, the NHS, pensions and benefits: we all pay our taxes so we can share the public services we need. It doesn't always work perfectly, but if we're All In This Together it's far better than letting people fall through the net.
But what happens when the State gets too Big? What happens when the ones making the decisions on our behalf and for our benefit become too distant from the people they serve, and don't really understand our needs properly? Not only do we end up paying too much, but the result is that the State intervenes in our lives in ways that are unhelpful and reduce our freedom.
Visiting the pub for a consolatory pint at the end of a miserable day, Dave is about to find out that being All In This Together sometimes means you don't get a say at all.
Jubilee Centre, December 2013
Individualism. The me-culture. I have the right to make the decisions I want to and that best suit my life. After all, no one else is going to if they're all looking out for themselves too. My career, my home, my relationships: my world is me-shaped.
Individualism started as a good thing: the recognition that everyone had worth and dignity as a human. We have rights and freedoms that previous generations never enjoyed. But that became distorted, until we focused on the self at the expense of the networks of relationships that make life truly meaningful. Instead, we substituted relationships with other people for relationships with Stuff. That's why individualism goes hand-in-hand with consumerism - choice and change are now how we understand our place in the world. Graham Cray writes, 'If individualization creates the structure of our society, consumerism provides its dominant ideology and its navigation mechanism or satellite navigation mechanism. Individuals navigate a multichoice world by being consumers'
Of course, when we each put ourselves at the centre of our lives, we end up leaving other people behind. Hoping for some support from his girlfriend, Dave is about to find out that what looks like freedom for one person comes at a cost to others.
Keywords: Worldviews & Culture
Guy Brandon, November 2013
We enjoy an unprecedented choice of consumer goods. Cars, clothes, accessories, music and electronics - especially computers and mobile phones - are available in a greater range of forms than ever before. This isn't a bad thing in its own right. God created a physical world, and using what he has given us is a part of living in it.
But something else has happened along the way. Buying and acquiring new things isn't just about possession any more. It's about identity. It's how we feel good about ourselves, how we define ourselves and understand our place in the world. Adverts make it clear that buying a new product isn't just about owning something useful. It's about a lifestyle. It's not about having: it's about being. Because, to paraphrase a well-known slogan, you deserve it.
On the hunt for a cheaper deal on his phone after the disastrous meeting with a mortgage broker, Dave is about to find out that there are downsides to thinking that way - but that it's not always easy to do things differently.
Keywords: Worldviews & Culture
Pete Atkinson, November 2013
A re-telling of the Bible's grand narrative from the perspective of the Trinity, this book by Pete Atkinson of Christian Heritage in Cambridge is a gripping, thrilling, emotional page-turner.
Read Auriel Schluter's review of the book here, and you can buy the book post-free (if you have a UK address) cheaper than on Amazon!
Keywords: Christianity & Religion
Jubilee Centre, October 2013
Welcome to Capitalism! The free market. Competition, laissez faire, private enterprise. Maximum profits, minimum hassle. Our world wouldn't be the same without it. How else would we fund scientific development, grow companies, borrow money to buy a car or house? That's the great thing about capitalism: one person's spare money can be put to good use by another - for a price, of course.
Dave wants to buy a house, and he's about to discover that capitalism doesn't work out perfectly for everyone. Some investments are riskier than others, so the price has to be higher. But that's the beauty of the free market: it rewards the best use of capital. It's just maths, and you can't argue with maths. Unless you're too big to fail, of course...
Keywords: Finance & the Economy
Jubilee Centre, October 2013
A day in the life of young graduate Dave leads to encounters with the downside of two major philosophies at the personal level (individualism and consumerism) and two dominant ideologies at society level (capitalism and statism). After these four sketches the actors discuss an alternative way of thinking about society - one which puts relationships first.
We have made this film as a way of introducing Relational Thinking to new audiences. This is the framework which Jubilee Centre and its sister organisations (especially Relationships Foundation and Relationships Global) have developed over the years to translate the biblical vision for society into the secular, pluralistic context of public life in the 21st century.
The full length film is 23 minutes long, and we will shortly launch each of the five sections as stand-alone films of 4-6 minutes each, with a discussion guide at the end for individual reflection or as a resource for small groups.
The film forms the first part of our project to create a comprehensive 'Learning Zone' at www.rCheckpoint.org (currently under construction). People will be able to explore the full implications of Relational Thinking as a Christian framework for social transformation - worked out at personal, organisational or public policy level.