SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
David V Barrett

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April 18, 2019
Most people assume that the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream is screaming. It’s not. It’s reacting to an event: “I felt a great scream pass through nature,” Munch wrote. He created several versions of The Scream; it’s the 1895 lithograph which is in the excellent exhibition of prints at the British Museum in London,
March 25, 2019
Expressing Catholic beliefs on sexuality could become a hate crime, a Catholic spokesman in Scotland has warned. “In a climate of heightened sensitivity there is a very real danger that expressing or even holding individual or collective opinions or beliefs will become a hate crime,” said Catholic Parliamentary Office Director Anthony Horan last week. “We
February 12, 2019
The “great and illustrious Ashurbanipal” is mentioned in the Bible, in Ezra 4:10 – and there was good reason for him calling himself “king of the world”. From his splendid palace at Nineveh, his rule over Assyria from 669 to c. 631 BC was the highest point of the Assyrian empire, which stretched from the
January 10, 2019
Today we know Christina Rossetti for two well-loved carols, In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Came Down at Christmas. In her lifetime (1830-1894) she was regarded as one of the greatest British poets of her day, rivalling Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She wrote on both secular and religious themes, and for children. She was born into
January 03, 2019
Europe’s royal families have long been related to each other. Queen Victoria’s family were closely entwined with the Romanovs of Russia, first through the marriages of the future Edward VII and the future Tsar Alexander III to two Danish sisters in 1863 and 1866. Then, in 1874, Victoria’s second son, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, married
December 13, 2018
A Supernatural War By Owen Davies OUP, 284pp, £20/$28 “There are no atheists in foxholes” – that’s the common perception of spirituality on the battlefields of the First World War. But it’s a lot more nuanced than that, according to social historian Owen Davies in his new book, subtitled Magic, Divination and Faith During the
November 08, 2018
There are more ancient Bibles at Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War, the splendid new exhibition at the British Library, than most of us will ever have seen in one place. Side by side are two contrasting 8th-century Scriptures: a palm-sized Gospel of John known as the St Cuthbert Gospel because it was found in his
November 01, 2018
The Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones was once asked by a young girl if he believed the story he had painted in The Star of Bethlehem. According to his long-suffering wife Georgiana, the daughter of a Methodist minister, he replied: “It’s too beautiful not to be true.” The Nativity story is represented by a tapestry
October 16, 2018
Fr Cuthbert Madden was cleared over abuse claims in 2016, but has not been reinstated
October 08, 2018
Bishop John Wilson said Catholics can find solace in the Rosary no matter how 'spiritually flimsy' they feel
October 08, 2018
She was condemned after drinking water from a supply used by Muslims
August 24, 2018
The investigation will include the Archdiocese of Chicago, which is headed by Cardinal Blase Cupich
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