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The history of the Church in Wales since disestablishment in 1920 may be understood as a story of battles won and wars lost. The church lost the battle over disestablishment to Nonconformity. However, in the long run, the victory of the dissenters cost the largest Nonconformist churches dearly. At the same time, for many Anglicans the loss of disestablishment was offset by a renewed theological self-confidence enjoyed by the Church in Wales. This was particularly marked by a Tractarian identity. As elsewhere in the Christian world, for the Church in Wales also ‘invented tradition’, typical in modern societies at certain points of crisis and change. Anglicans and Nonconformists continued well into the late twentieth century to construct and deploy sophisticated and slanted versions of ‘historic’ Welsh Christian identity. This chapter examines aspects of this process. It also asks whether the energy devoted to these ongoing battles had the effect of limiting the depth at which Welsh Christians of all backgrounds were able to imagine the challenges of contemporary Wales.
In the past decade, network analysis (NA) has been applied to psychopathology to quantify complex symptom relationships. This statistical technique has demonstrated much promise, as it provides researchers the ability to identify relationships across many symptoms in one model and can identify central symptoms that may predict important clinical outcomes. However, network models are highly influenced by node selection, which could limit the generalizability of findings. The current study (N = 6850) tests a comprehensive, cognitive–behavioral model of eating-disorder symptoms using items from two, widely used measures (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire and Eating Pathology Symptoms Inventory).
We used NA to identify central symptoms and compared networks across the duration of illness (DOI), as chronicity is one of the only known predictors of poor outcome in eating disorders (EDs).
Our results suggest that eating when not hungry and feeling fat were the most central symptoms across groups. There were no significant differences in network structure across DOI, meaning the connections between symptoms remained relatively consistent. However, differences emerged in central symptoms, such that cognitive symptoms related to overvaluation of weight/shape were central in individuals with shorter DOI, and behavioral central symptoms emerged more in medium and long DOI.
Our results have important implications for the treatment of individuals with enduring EDs, as they may have a different core, maintaining symptoms. Additionally, our findings highlight the importance of using comprehensive, theoretically- or empirically-derived models for NA.
Evidence from observational studies indicates that seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggest seaweed have antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may in part be attributed to the high content of soluble dietary fibre in seaweeds. The viscosity of seaweed fibres is suggested to mediate antihyperlipdiemic effects via the alteration of lipid/bile acid absorption kinetics to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Thus, there is a need to evaluate the efficacy of seaweed derived dietary fibre in the management of dyslipidemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a fibre rich extract from Palmaria palmata on the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy adults. A total of 60 healthy participants (30 male and 30 female) aged 20 to 58 years, were assigned to consume the Palmaria palmata fibre extract (5g/day), Synergy-1 and the placebo (maltodextrin) for a duration of 4 weeks with a minimum 4 week washout between each treatment in a double blind, randomised crossover study conducted over 5 months. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were analysed and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and LDL: HDL ratio was calculated. C-reactive protein (CRP) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) were analysed as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, respectively. Supplementation for 4 weeks with Palmaria palmata resulted in favourable changes to lipid profiles with a reduced LDL:HDL ratio; however intention-to-treat univariate ANCOVA identified no significant difference between the treatment groups over time on any of the lipid profile markers. A non-significant increase in CRP and triglyceride concentration along with lower FRAP was also observed with Palmaria palmata supplementation. Evidence from this study suggests that Palmaria palmata may have effects on lipid metabolism and appears to mobilise triglycerides. More research is needed in individuals with dyslipidaemia to fully elucidate these effects.
This Review describes the objectives and methodology of the DairyWater project as it aims to aid the Irish dairy processing industry in achieving sustainability as it expands. With the abolition of European milk quotas in March 2015, the Republic of Ireland saw a surge in milk production. The DairyWater project was established in anticipation of this expansion of the Irish dairy sector in order to develop innovative solutions for the efficient management of water consumption, wastewater treatment and the resulting energy use within the country's dairy processing industry. Therefore, the project can be divided into three main thematic areas: dairy wastewater treatment technologies and microbial analysis, water re-use and rainwater harvesting and environmental assessment. In order to ensure the project remains as relevant as possible to the industry, a project advisory board containing key industry stakeholders has been established. To date, a number of large scale studies, using data obtained directly from the Irish dairy industry, have been performed. Additionally, pilot-scale wastewater treatment (intermittently aerated sequencing batch reactor) and tertiary treatment (flow-through pulsed ultraviolet system) technologies have been demonstrated within the project. Further details on selected aspects of the project are discussed in greater detail in the subsequent cluster of research communications.
In this Research Communication we investigate the microbiological profile of 12 dairy wastewater streams from three contrasting Irish dairy processing factories to determine whether faecal indicators/pathogens were present and in turn, whether disinfection may be required for potential water reuse within the factory. Subsequently, the impact of suspended solids on the inactivation efficiency of Escherichia coli via two means of ultravoilet (UV) disinfection; flow-through pulsed UV (PUV) and continuous low pressure UV (LPUV) disinfection was analysed. Faecal indicators total coliforms and E. coli were detected in 10 out of the 12 samples collected at the dairy processing factories while pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes was detected in all samples collected at 2 out of the 3 factories. Salmonella spp. was undetected in all samples. The results also indicated that organic dairy wastewater solids had an impact on the performance efficiency of the PUV system and, to a lesser extent, the LPUV system. The findings indicate that the targeting of key pathogens would be required to enable wastewater reuse (and indeed effluent discharges if regulation continues to become more stringent) and that LPUV may offer a more robust disinfection method as it appears to be less susceptible to the presence of suspended solids.
There is a real difference between describing a public health crisis as an epidemic and calling it a plague. As far back as we can go in the European tradition, words associated with ‘plague’ carry an extra charge; they connote something more than accident and bring into the account we give of medical disaster the suggestion of some kind of personal agency. Homer's Iliad famously starts with a picture of disaster, sickness striking the Greek troops under the walls of Troy, and shows us the god Apollo unleashing his arrows against animals and human beings, in revenge for an insult offered to one of his priests. In the first book of the Iliad, the sickness is variously called nousos, loimos and loigos: roughly, a disease, an outrage or injury, and a disaster or devastation – though Homer does use plege elsewhere, the origin of the Latin plaga – a blow or stroke. Simple description gives way to a mode of speaking that is not only dramatically personal but also moralised: sickness is not only connected with someone's agency but is understood as a moral consequence of events, a punishment.
At the most obvious level, speaking like this is a way of asserting meaning in a situation where we may otherwise feel helpless, at the mercy of arbitrary forces. It may not exactly be welcome to think of ourselves as receiving punishment for our misdeeds; but it makes sense of a kind. When the workings of natural processes are made personal in this way, we can imagine ‘negotiating’ with them: what we do or say may make a difference. Even if we are too late to avert the plague that now afflicts us, we can perhaps shorten its duration by searching out the cause and taking appropriate remedial action, and we may be better able to avoid such disasters in future. Plague understood in this sense as the stroke of a hostile agent prompts us to examine our memories, to retell our stories, so that we can discover what we ought to negotiate about and with whom.
Discussion about the relation of theology to the creative imagination has blossomed in recent decades within English-speaking scholarship. Journals such as Literature and Theology in the United Kingdom and Christianity and Literature, the Notre Dame Journal of Religion and Literature, and Image (which includes the visual arts) in the United States have developed as platforms for serious and broadly ranging debate not only over religious themes in various kinds of imaginative work but also around the nature of the imaginative process itself. Research projects drawing together literary and intellectual history have welcomed the contribution of theologians and historians of theology; monographs on the religious hinterland of particular writers, monograph series on the interaction between the two realms, university departments, and chairs (from Chicago and Virginia and Baylor to Glasgow and London and Chester) concentrating on these frontiers all seem to be flourishing. Paradoxically, in a period when public religious affiliation is far from strong in Western Europe and not as strong as it used to be in North America, there is no shortage of interest in the ways in which religious categories appear as vehicles for serious imaginative exploration.
Apart from the high profile of religious – and specifically Christian – themes in the fiction of Marilynne Robinson or the poetry of Geoffrey Hill, several new plays produced in London since 2006 have very deliberately set out to reflect on religious faith and language. In what follows, I shall be looking at three examples. The first is David Edgar's Written on the Heart, a high-profile production in 2011 by the Royal Shakespeare Company that deals with the interactions of political power and spiritual integrity around the final revisions to the text of the Bible of 1611, contrasting the tormented conscience of the saintly but consumingly ambitious Lancelot Andrewes with the ghostly presence of William Tyndale, martyr and critic of the hierarchy. In 2006, Mick Gordon and A.C. Grayling collaborated on a play entitled simply On Religion, which looked at the tensions within a “secular” family set up by one character's conversion to Christianity, priestly vocation, and untimely death. And in 2011, Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Faith Machine presented, within a complex network of relationships, questions both about capitalism and personal ethics and about the tension within the Church between principle and pragmatism.
Explicating John Donne's ‘doubt wisely’, this essay argues for the theological and psychological sophistication of Richard Hooker's distinction of wise from unwise doubt and shows why this led him to support compulsory adherence to the Church of England. Framed by consideration of how his ideas were adopted by Thomas Browne's Religio Medici (1643), it explores Hooker's thinking on what is certain in itself and where we can properly doubt. If true, the revealed character of God and the consequent acknowledgement of God as faithful to his elect, is true by necessity, or definition, and may be held with certainty of adherence: whatever my emotional state, adhering is proof that I have not denied my faith and am therefore sincere in my profession. It is wise to doubt the absolute importance of issues such as the right definition of Christ's presence in the sacrament, the God-given character of any specific Church order, and assumptions about the spiritual state of any other baptized person. We cannot, however, be doubtful about the Church to which allegiance is commanded by law. For Hooker, legal enforcement of conformity is a pastoral good: it enables the unsure to establish a practice likely to offer them some anchorage for fluctuating convictions and ‘affections’.
Twenty-seven years ago, Alasdair MacIntyre in his seminal work on the foundations of moral discourse, After Virtue, declared that human rights did not exist. ‘Rights which are alleged to belong to human beings as such and which are cited as a reason for holding that people ought not to be interfered with in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness’ are a fiction: ‘there are’, he says, ‘no such rights, and belief in them is one with belief in witches and in unicorns’. The language of rights emerges, MacIntyre argues, at a time when people need a fresh moral compass in the wake of the dissolution of much traditional morality; like the concept of ‘utility’, which is another characteristic notion developed in the modern period as a touchstone for moral decision, the idea of ‘rights’ is meant to act as a trump in moral argument. The trouble is, MacIntyre argues, that rights and utility do not get along very well together in argument: one is essentially about the claims of the individual, the other about the priorities of administration. The result is the familiar modern standoff between the individual and the bureaucratic state. The state is both the guarantor of rights – more clearly than ever with the emergence of the ‘market state’ in which the most important reason for recognising the legitimacy of a state is its ability to maximise your choices, as Philip Bobbitt has demonstrated – and the authority that claims the right to assess and on occasion overrule individual liberties. Hence the tension between the state and civil society which has been so explosive a theme in twentieth-century politics. The lack of mediating concepts to deal with this tension was identified by Hannah Arendt, echoed more recently by Gillian Rose, as one of the roots of totalitarianism. But Rose notes also the same problem identified by MacIntyre, the way in which the stand-off between rights and utility leaves the path open to an exclusively managerial account of political life, in which ‘expertise’ about process is allowed to short-circuit proper discussions of corporate human goals.
In his splendidly magisterial and opinionated lectures on Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century, Karl Barth picks up a throwaway parenthesis by Novalis on the concept of God:
Gott ist bald 1 × ∞ − bald 1/∞ − bald 0.
This gnomic formula is then used by Barth as the springboard for an eloquent reflection on the essence of the Romantic dilemma about the sacred: to say that God is the infinite multiplication or the infinite division of a ‘given quality of the ego or of life’ is to posit a divinity that is ultimately defined as a function of some pre-existing constant – infinite, we might say, but not finally different; but the characteristically Romantic sensibility constantly moves in the direction of an other not determined by the ego, an other that is the condition of possibility for the union of subject and object. So the divine may be figured as the ‘infinitisation’ of the ego's play, the ego's dance, the indefinite variety of the constant ego's relations to infinity; but this cannot be all. What then might it mean to say that God is ‘sometimes nought’? For Barth this is where we see a recognition of the irruption of an incalculable otherness into what had been merely a world of the immediate constant and a background indefiniteness – a recognition of the inescapable death of the ego. ‘For 0 is certainly not merely a harmless little point which is passed through between +1 and −1’: the God who is ‘sometimes 0’ is irreducibly opposed to the given life or ego presupposed in the first part of the formulation: this is a God who makes the entire dance of the ego either possible or impossible. And so the God who is an infinitising of something given and the God who both negates and affirms the entire system cannot be ‘God’ in the same sense.
The title of this series of lectures, ‘Islam in English Law’, signals the existence of what is very widely felt to be a growing challenge in our society – that is, the presence of communities which, while no less ‘law-abiding’ than the rest of the population, relate to something other than the British legal system alone. But, as I hope to suggest, the issues that arise around what level of public or legal recognition, if any, might be allowed to the legal provisions of a religious group, are not peculiar to Islam: we might recall that, while the law of the Church of England is the law of the land, its daily operation is in the hands of authorities to whom considerable independence is granted. And beyond the specific issues that arise in relation to the practicalities of recognition or delegation, there are large questions in the background about what we understand by and expect from the law, questions that are more sharply focused than ever in a largely secular social environment. I shall therefore be concentrating on certain issues around Islamic law to begin with, in order to open up some of these wider matters.
Among the manifold anxieties that haunt the discussion of the place of Muslims in British society, one of the strongest, reinforced from time to time by the sensational reporting of opinion polls, is that Muslim communities in this country seek the freedom to live under shariʽa law. And what most people think they know of shariʽa is that it is repressive towards women and wedded to archaic and brutal physical punishments; just a few days ago, it was reported that a ‘forced marriage’ involving a young woman with learning difficulties had been ‘sanctioned under shariʽa law’ – the kind of story that, in its assumption that we all ‘really’ know what is involved in the practice of shariʽa , powerfully reinforces the image of – at best – a pre-modern system in which human rights have no role.