The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue in modern society

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Religion is continuously losing its vital function as a core in societies across the Western world. People are becoming in disinterested in religious bodies, and UK church attendance is falling on average by one percent each year.

One would assume that this decline in religious participation would be acommpanied by a similar decline in belief around the supernatural and spiritual. Whether it be ghosts, auras or a soul, non-physical entities seem to appeal to the human nature of curiosity and spirituality.

Some recent Twitter polls asked various questions surrounding spiritual beliefs and opinions on religion. Regarding religious affiliations, 41% regarded themselves as “atheist/non-believer”, seconded by “agnostic/unsure” at 33%. However, in a separate poll, only 11% considered religion to be a bad part of society, with a majority of 61% saying it can be either good or bad, depending on circumstances. But, in this final poll, 55% believed in a soul, spirit or some non-physical entity, loosely followed behind by 29% of people who had no belief in this at all. Although the poll asking about religious stance revealed that the majority of the respondents were atheist, there still seems to be a streak of spiritual beliefs among respondents. …


Is the church of England failing to keep up with social change?

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The House of Bishops of the Church of England recently released a report on “Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations”. The objective was to clarify the Church’s position on same-sex marriage and relationships, following pressure from LGBTQ+ members of the Church and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) to realise and engage with its varied sexually-orientations in its congregation. In a modern and evolving society, religious institutions like the Church of England are falling short of attracting the diverse range of the population which will be key to its continuation and growth.

Throughout the report, the claim is made that the Church is seeking to work “towards greater clarity about…how the good news of God in Jesus Christ can be shared more effectively” by providing “a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support for lesbian and gay people”. The report suggests “it might also be important to identify specific opportunities for the Church of England to express its welcome and support for lesbian and gay people and those who experience same-sex attraction”. …

About

Will Moore

Religious and Theological Studies student at Cardiff University. Writer and musician. LGBT+ affirming Christian.

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