Welcome to Life in 361˚. This blog is an 'open journal' - a space where I keep notes on bits & pieces I come across day-to-day - including books and articles I've read that I feel are worth sharing, interesting pictures and photos (I'm a visual learner, you see), random musings - and anything else that happens to catch my eye or ear. It also acts as a kind of 'open experiment' in terms of developing my views and writing skills - and networking with other people of a like-mind.

If you've stumbled upon here randomly, then I suggest you check out my biography and other pages.

Please Note: This site, and the social networking profile pages connected with it, reflect my personal interests & views which do not necessarily represent those of organisations I am affiliated / associated with.

21/10/2011

Maddogitis

Whilst we may celebrate the end of the Gaddafi domination system in Libya - and may congratulate the brave men, women and children who have made sacrifices for this cause, from the average Libyan family to the British pilot & his family back home - surely there is no victory to be found in Gaddafi's cold-blooded execution to the chorus of 'God is Great'?

13/10/2011

Free Youcef Nadarkhani

The case of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian facing the death penalty for his ministry, reminds us that the freedoms we enjoy to believe and disbelieve are hard fought - and not yet won the world over. Indeed, it would appear Christians across the world are facing persecution - from Egypt, to China and even in India, a country reknowned for its colourful diversity. Having just finished reading Jean Hatton's biography of George Fox, and the details of how his body was repeatedly battered and broken from persecution, it strikes me that the right to believe, and not believe, is something we take for granted.

02/10/2011

Harmless Mujahideen

I've just come across this Guardian article by Theo Hobson (via Stephen Lingwood's Reignite blog) on his sojourn to a Unitarian church.

At the time of writing the article has 433 comments, which could reflect potential interest in Unitarianism - Christian-rooted or otherwise - but may also reflect the popularity of the journalist and/or the controversy he has caused by his portrayal of Christianity as having essentially violent undertones.

Although there are points I'm sure Unitarians would argue with, the article is in many ways a fair general reflection of present-day Unitarianism - 'a harmless radicalism'.

Looking down the comments, I also thought this brutally frank comment was insightful - and reflects in part my frustrations of the church I have often called home:
"I've attended a few Unitarian services, and the problem I have is not that they don't have a creed - i respect that, and the non-assertive nature of their congregation, all are welcome, no questions asked, plus the obvious liberalism. It's more that in their services they seem to borrow the religious element of other religions, almost as if they are playing at being religious, lacking any tradition of their own.
So one week we sang some Buddhist chants, and we all ommed away for a bit, and meditated (or closed our eyes anyway). Another week, we played at being Hindus. It felt very Western, trying on the clothes of various religions in turn, as if we could touch the numinous by proxy, while the sermons were essentially children's stories, Just So Stories."