In 1915 the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon coined the term ‘fight or flight’ to describe how the nervous system of an animal’s body responds to threats. Quickly the insight was applied to human reactions in a much wider context.
Today marks the centenary of the Armistice, the moment when 100 years ago the hostilities of the First World War came to an end and peace was made after four long devastating years of war. More than ¾ million British men and women were killed and countless others were maimed, wounded or emotionally destroyed.
All Saints Eucharist
Two years ago in the Brexit referendum this country was divided between leavers and remainers. In truth few remainers believed the European Union was the fount of every blessing, while few leavers really thought Britain would finally realise its eternal destiny the moment it left the EU.
The Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity
I wonder, when you lie on your bed, how long it takes you to get to sleep. There’s something extraordinarily vulnerable about lying down with your eyes closed not knowing what will happen next. It puts us on touch with our isolation.
The Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity
A clergy friend of mine was a chaplain for a few years supporting lawyers in the City and was attached to St Paul’s Cathedral. Her role, the cathedral said, was the equivalent to that of a minor canon. The only point about this she said seemed to be that it meant she’d know her place in the clergy processions in and out of the cathedral for services.
Something Worth Sharing: Disability Day
I don’t really like the term practical theology. I don’t like it because for me all theology is practical. So to employ the term practical theology is to suggest two things that in my view are mistaken. The first is that theology is abstract and arcane, and that practical theology is the part that brings it down to earth.
Jesus: Human and Divine
There are two kinds of things: those that abide forever; and those that don’t. The things that abide forever we call essence; the things that last for a shorter period we call existence.
We human beings are in the first category. We exist: we think that because we exist we’re the heart of all things. But we forget that existence isn’t all there is. Existence is not the same as essence. Existence is subject to change and decay – and death. Essence isn’t. Yes, we do indeed exist. But we’re not essences: we’re not permanent. We’re not essential. Take us away and there still is. Our being depends on the existence of others.
The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
Two weeks ago I sat in the deanery garden of St Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg, with Godfrey Harwood, who was dean from 1986, during the transfer of power, and who had become a close friend of Geoffrey Brown, vicar of St Martin’s during the same period.