Considering Grace: An invitation to listen

Considering Grace: An invitation to listen by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 5 November 2019 Considering Grace, by Gladys Ganiels and Jamie Yohanis, is a new book that explores how Presbyterians responded to the Troubles, through a series of narratives from 120 people who tell their stories of how they coped with trauma and [...]

The end of Catholic Ireland?

The end of Catholic Ireland?  by Allan LEONARD 6 November 2018 In what Alan Meban described the event as a symposium (“but don’t say it was in a bar” [The Dark Horse Inn]), Dr Gladys Ganiel, a sociologist of religion from Queen’s University Belfast, laid out quantitative and qualitative findings about the apparent secularisation process [...]

Listening to the pschogeography of Belfast

One of the final events of the Four Corners Festival was a discussion on what was described as the psychogeography of the city of Belfast. A panel of four -- with one connected via a video call -- ruminated on their walking through the streets, along borders and through them, sharing their perspectives to an [...]

The Passion Walk – Belfast 2015

On BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence programme, I learned of a Passion Walk event that would take place on Good Friday. Passion Walk seeks to recreate the experience of Jesus of Nazareth’s final days in a contemporary environment, using local landmarks in place of those around Jerusalem. Based on the success of a previous Passion [...]

National reconciliation: “Patriotism is not enough”

National reconciliation: “Patriotism is not enough” A Journey Towards Healing seminar by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 19 February 2015 In the second of a series of seminars organised by Niamh Mental Wellbing, Reverend Dr Gary Mason facilitated a civic engagement in a packed room at Skainos on the Newtownards Road, Belfast. The discussants [...]

The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News 4 April 2014 Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young [...]