SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Jack Scarisbrick

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November 17, 2020
It's hard to find much justification for the myth of Elizabeth I
February 20, 2020
Four hundred and fifty years ago, on February 25, 1570, Pope St Pius V issued the bull Regnans in Excelsis excommunicating Elizabeth I, Queen of England. He did not mince his words. Since “He who reigns on high” (Regnans in Excelsis) had appointed Peter and hence every successor “ruler of all peoples and kingdoms”, Pius
December 19, 2019
Between 1534 and 1554, there were two people claiming to be bishop of Worcester and two to be bishop of Salisbury; and between 1559 and 1585, two claiming to be bishop of St Asaph. In all cases one of those two prelates was a royal appointee living in England and the other was appointed by
December 20, 2018
If a zealous priest called Gregory Botolph had guarded his tongue more carefully in Holy Week of 1540, England might well be a Catholic country still. Let me explain. Botolph was a chaplain to the governor of Calais, still an English possession. Like many garrison towns, it contained a lot of people with plenty of
November 01, 2018
Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Allen Lane, 730pp, £30 This new biography is so prodigiously thorough and clever that it is difficult to imagine there will ever be more than titbits added to this portrait of the man who did much to change the life and face of Britain. Of course, decades ago
October 26, 2017
Pro-lifers have to speak out against the trivialisation of human life happening all around them. They must do so calmly and charitably, of course, but without fudge or compromise. They must be politically active – committed to securing the full, equal protection of the law for all human life from conception to natural death. But
October 05, 2017
The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual by Angelo Stagnaro, Hope/Life Press, £19.99 This is a really handy resource for anyone committed to the pro-life cause, for it lists and then carefully refutes more than 100 claims, assertions, myths and slogans which the pro-abortion lobby relentlessly peddles. It is cleverly written, witty and well informed. And it is
March 30, 2017
Thomas More: A Very Brief History by John Guy, SPCK, £12.99 This a lively and learned little book, but I do not quite understand what it is trying to do. It consists of a 40-odd page potted biography of More, which is very well done but covers mostly familiar ground, and a further 40-odd pages
March 30, 2017
John Guy's work entertains but fails to cohere as he treads the familiar ground of Thomas More's life
March 03, 2017
Jack Scarisbrick says that Eamon Duffy’s new study of the period is a must-read
March 02, 2017
Reformation Divided by Eamon Duffy, Bloomsbury, £30 Another blockbuster arrives from the professor (emeritus) of Christian history at Cambridge. This time it is a collection of 14 pieces, all but two of them first published in learned journals over the years and now reworked and/or expanded. Reformation Divided begins with two powerful essays defending Thomas
July 14, 2016
Book review: All Things Made New by Diarmaid MacCulloch
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