Sunday, 25 September 2011
What's in a name?
It was announced today that the BBC is dropping 'BC' and 'AD' in favour of 'BCE' and'CE'. As Matthew Parris pointed out on the Andrew Marr show, this is simply using the same dateline - the birth of Christ - while avoiding the apparently offensive direct reference. We are having a similar debate about our international conference to be held in Moffat next year, originally to be entitled Christianity without frontiers. Alternative suggestions include On shared ground? Religious faith and contemporary culture. The theme of the conference is values and attitudes, inspired by the life and work of Alexander Men 1935-1990, a Russian priest. The hope is that by avoiding precision in the title, a wider variety of participants will feel inclined to attend than might otherwise have been the case. So: are we part of what seems to be an increasingly fashionable pre-emptive cringe? Off tomorrow to the Wigtown Book Festival, for a session on Voice and Presentation For Writers and pot luck for other sessions I haven't booked for. I will practise tweeting, a habit I haven't managed to acquire but am resolved to master.