SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Jacob Phillips

July 10, 2020
What happens when the thing itself is replaced I had my first cup of coffee at around 13 years old. It was a tepid, instant coffee, which today I would find disgusting. Within a few weeks, the Holy Grail of life itself was established as a necessary preliminary to my daily routine: the morning coffee.
June 09, 2020
Lockdown was traumatic, and so will be its aftermath, but that’s not all bad The Catholic lockdown debate has focused on the primary place we must give to corporate faith, and participation in the sacramental life of the Church. There are two main elements at play here: a discussion centering on the unease that the
November 07, 2020
The supposedly ‘boring and suburban’ style reflects English self-confidence and a spirit of moderation, argues Jacob Phillips
June 12, 2020
After Life Netflix It was hard not to feel some admiration for Ricky Gervais’s speech at the Golden Globes this year, when he took Hollywood celebrities to task for rank hypocrisy. On the woke posturing of the same A-Listers who work for ethically dubious corporations, Gervais commented: “If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call
October 21, 2017
The former Pontiff critiqued globalisation while showing how to reconcile unity with diversity
October 19, 2017
The strange phenomenon of the alt-right is now well fixed in the public consciousness. As a complex confluence of different groups clustered together online, it is hard to codify a coherent ideology. Key elements include a deeply critical attitude towards multiculturalism and globalisation. This is tied up with sinister views on race. Yet leaders of
August 24, 2017
St Francis de Sales writes that the pious soul should be like a hummingbird among flowers: attracted to beautiful things, and drawing from them the sweet nectar of sanctification. He also warns readers that unsavoury influences disorientate or debilitate our spiritual life, that we are “guilty by association” if, by communing with things antithetical to
April 27, 2017
Like many Catholics of my age, the “home turf” of my liturgical music taste is of a rather traditional bent. My wife and I got married to the English Renaissance polyphony of Byrd and Tallis, so such music lies at the very bosom of our home life. That said, even I felt discombobulated by the
April 27, 2017
Some Catholics may feel uneasy about contemporary music, but Stormzy's lyrics draw deeply on his faith
January 12, 2017
Having lived in London a while, I take pride in my ability to get from A to Z (train strikes notwithstanding). At the tail end of a Christmas dinner party, you might even hear me claiming to have that much-fabled item of London street lore, “The Knowledge”, bequeathed mysteriously (like the apostolic succession) to black
November 10, 2016
The translator of Benedict XVI’s Last Testament describes the joyous experience of working on the retired pope's text
November 10, 2016
The first things that came to mind when I was asked to write about the experience of translating Benedict XVI’s Last Testament were uninteresting and entirely predictable: all the unforeseen consequences one might expect when an early career academic finds himself with a gargantuan, if awesome, task to complete in very little time. Making my