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Mike Ovey discovers advice from Friedrich Engels to the Church Of England’s bishops on same-sex conversations.
Say what you like about Marx and Engels, they were not complete idiots. In fact, they could be hugely astute and they were notably astute in the way they saw that 'ideology' can be used by the ruling classes in their own interests. And it is to Engels, probably, that we owe the illuminating term 'false consciousness'. With false consciousness we may pursue what an ideology says in one sense 'consciously' and intentionally, but, Engels adds, 'The real motives impelling him remain unknown to him, otherwise it would not be an ideological process at all. Hence he imagines false or apparent motives.
For Engels, false consciousness can hide our real motives from us. The consequences are huge: Engels makes us realise we are not open books to ourselves. Fascinating advice as the Church of England bishops begin their conversations on same-sex relations. It is fascinating advice because one of the questions confronting the bishops is about trust: not just trust in terms of being open and honest and stating points in a civil fashion, nor trust that one's words will not be wilfully misrepresented. Rather a key question is how much we trust our own experience and the experience of our friends. Put another way, whether our consciousnesses are always true or, at times, as Engels and Marx pointed out, false – false even to ourselves.
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Former Oak Hill student Mark Smith looks forward to a winter of change at City Church Dublin.
If we were to believe what we read in the papers and online, we are all about to freeze in the coldest winter since the last ice age. An 'Artic blast' is going to rip through the British Isles and before long we'll all be doing the luge to work. However, despite all the wild predictions and scaremongering, I much prefer winter. A roaring fire and a glass of something warming (preferably single malt), as the wind howls outside… bliss!
As far as I'm concerned, summer is overrated! I would much rather be too cold than too hot. Especially as the pastor of a young church full of students who go home every summer and leave you with the drunk guy at the back heckling your sermon (true story).
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What would Engels say?
Winter is coming
Extraordinary gospel
Nis satis nisi optimum
A little stab at utopia
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Open monring at Oak Hill
Thinking about theological training? Come to an Open Morning: meet staff and students, sample some lectures and look round the campus.
Grace Forsythe
Grace Forsythe was an independent student at Oak Hill, called to ministry in an urban priority area.
Tony Ford
Tony Ford is chaplain to Oldham Rugby League Football Club, with many opportunities to do pastoral work and share the gospel.
Daf Meirion-Jones
Daf Meirion-Jones and Martyn Ayers work in a parish with council housing, university halls and three mosques.