‘The Philippine Peace Agreement: Let’s Maintain Diligence’

philippinepeaceagreementMy op-ed on the current status of the peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was published as a (front page!) feature on Open Democracy.

Full article:

http://www.opendemocracy.net/s-francesca-po/philippine-peace-agreement-let’s-maintain-diligence

Last year, the Philippine government struck a historic peace deal with the Islamist rebels. But the devil is in the details, which have yet to be agreed upon. Who will make sure they create a just and lasting peace, and how?

It has been about seven months since the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF or ‘Islamic Front’), and while both sides continue to work through details, it is reassuring that peace has held. In the context of some personal insights on the People Power Revolution, and recent events in Malaysia, I hope to offer suggestions on how this peace agreement can reach its full potential…

The Metta Center

mettagandhiThe Metta Center, as part of its continuous development, has formed a Strategic Advisory Council (SAC), which they have invited me to be a member of.  Additionally, they have offered me a writing fellowship under the title ‘Liaison to Wisdom Traditions’.

About the SAC:

http://mettacenter.org/about/strategic-advisory-council/

First publication as a Metta writing fellow:

http://mettacenter.org/blog/the-philippine-peace-agreement-lets-maintain-diligence/

Merry Christmas!

12112011-02-boroughcommonfolkcarolsThis year, I was given the honour to participate (accordion and backing vocals) in a British folk Christmas album!

Have a listen here:

http://mackenziebidgood.bandcamp.com/album/carols-on-the-common

And if you’re so inclined to purchase the tracks, all proceeds go to this homeless charity:

http://www.robes.org.uk/

Hoping this season brings you peace and joy, in the depths of your hearts and in the fullness of your lives!

‘An Astrology (and Spiritualities) for the Modern’

campionpoThis past autumn, I had the pleasure of meeting esoteric religion historian, Nicholas Campion, at the BASR conference. In the wake of the conference, I was invited by the editors of the Religious Studies Project to write a response to their recent interview with him.

Campion interview:

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2012/12/03/podcast-nicholas-campion-on-astrology/

My response:

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2012/12/05/an-astrology-and-spiritualities-for-the-modern-by-s-francesca-po/

‘[Theosophical astrology] is an astrology of modernity’, suggests Nick Campion in his interview with the Religious Studies Project.  However,  before even coming to this suggestion, David Robertson asked some very challenging, informed questions on the assumptions about astrology—particularly, if contemporary astrologers have ‘reinterpreted’ astrology in order to appeal to the cosmology of modernity.  This question is also relevant to many alternative, holistic, and ‘postmodern’ spiritualities, which I hope to focus on in this reflection…