Reflecting on reflecting on the 1916 Easter Rising

At a recent talk on the 1916 Easter Rising by Philip Orr in one of Contemporary Christianity’s ‘In conversation with…’ series I learned much about its historical context. We had a sweep over the previous three centuries or so and the century since! What tends to be seen as a seminal stand-alone event moving history in a particular direction appeared more as one step in many along a road. Many of us participating in the conversation that evening were struck by the complexity of the context in relation to what was happening across Europe, across the world and locally in Belfast in the years immediately prior to 1916. Continue reading

Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future? (Johnston McMaster)

Johnston McMaster delivered this year's Catherwood Lecture, speaking under the title of: Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future?

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He started by explaining that his grandfather had signed the covenant, and continued to question throughout the talk whether he would have signed it if he’d lived 100 years ago. Looking back at history and at the same time looking forward from today was a key tenet of his lecture, and mirrored the twin directions of memory and hope that are also at the hearth of Christian worship. Parallels were drawn between the 1912 Covenant and the 1916 Proclamation. Both documents were “theologically deliberate”. The text of Johnston McMaster's lecture is available as a PDF download. Stephen Johnston - minister of Kilkeel Presbyterian - responded at the close of the lecture with some pertinent questions.