The morning after a vibrant two-day event, delegates from the Recovery from Addiction: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice conference woke to the sad news that the initial inquest into Peaches Geldof’s death had revealed that heroin is likely to have played a role in her death. Social media, previously channelling devastation at the loss of this young celebrity, lit up with questions, many freighted with judgement. How could she use heroin when looking after her much-loved 11 month old son? Like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Winehouse before her, how could someone so privileged and talented throw their life away so selfishly, and so stupidly? Without first-hand experience of the value-distortions of active addiction it is undoubtedly Continue reading
When it broke a couple of weeks ago, it was hard not to be affected by the story of Marius, the graceful, gentle, beautiful, healthy, young giraffe shot and publicly dismembered at Copenhagen Zoo. In our reactions, many of us experienced moral sentiment, a distaste, or even revulsion, in relation to an apparently brutal act. The ethical question that follows is what to make of this feeling.
The justification of the killing offered by the Zoo aimed to overcome sentiment by appealing to the desirability of their goal of maintaining a Continue reading
Teaching the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer for the first time this term, I’ve been more alert than usual to the different ways in which he figures in the media I consume.
One of the striking things about Bonhoeffer’s currency is the contrasting ways in which he appeals to different Christian constituencies. Some (often but not only of a more liberal persuasion) are drawn to the daring explorations of ‘religionless Christianity’ in the prison letters. Others (often but not only conversatives) appeal to Continue reading