Thursday, September 16, 2004
As we anticipated, the MTAG session with David Porter from ECONI (Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland) was extremely fruitful. The history of this network began in 1987. ECONI seeks to explore the ways in which Christian faith has become submerged in the cultures of 'loyalism' and 'nationalism', and to ask what an alternative, biblical witness would look like. It works with both Protestants and Catholics.
The implications of this stance for practical reconciliation of people, communities and memories is considerable; likewise for effective Christian witness in a situation where the language of faith has frequently been colonised and abused.
We noted that all this creates a very different agenda from the one that emerges from engagement with religious / spiritual pluralism on the one hand and and growing secularity on the other. At the present time MTAG lacks Irish membership. But encounters like this one with David are an important corrective to the biases that otherwise creep in to our work.
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