Ekklesia is an independent think-tank seeking to examine the role of religion in a creatively critical way, and also to advance ideas in a range of policy areas from a forward-looking religious perspective. Ekklesia’s approach to issues of religion in the public sphere is primarily shaped by a strong theological and political critique of ‘Christendom’ – the historic collusion of institutional churches with governing authority and vice versa.
Through research, publishing and commentary, Ekklesia seeks to reinvigorate a different understanding of the church as an alternative-generating ‘contrast society’ within the wider civic order: one that is politically aware, intellectually curious, spiritually refreshing, theologically rooted, voluntarily associational and radical in its social commitment.
While remaining committed to a positive exchange between mainstream traditions (Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal and indigenous), Ekklesia naturally draws much of its specific inspiration from the dissenting strands within Christianity, not least the ‘historic peace churches’ (Quakers, Mennonites and other Anabaptists), some liberation theologies and non-conformism.
Ekklesia is ‘radical’ in its conviction that the Gospel subverts power and privilege, both personally and corporately. And it is ‘progressive’ in the sense that it sees change coming through risk-taking hopefulness, not through a destructive lust for security and certainty. In proposing a renewal of religious-political discourse, Ekklesia is especially concerned to develop the public significance of concrete practices like reconciliation, non-violence and peace-building, economic sharing, hospitality (welcome and inclusion), restorative justice, social equality, forgiveness, neighbourly freedom, the community of women and men, nurturing life as 'gift', environmental sustainability, and global solidarity with all those pushed to the margins.