SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Melanie McDonagh

September 05, 2020
Tony Abbott’s new role as senior trade advisor to the UK government has sparked controversy. Russell T Davies, the Dr Who screenwriter, and Sir Ian McKellan won’t be pleased at the confirmation that Tony Abbott, the former Australian PM, is to be a trade envoy for the British Government. They, and two dozen other people
January 18, 2021
Honest depictions of misdeeds and their repercussions happen so rarely, but the National Gallery got it right, says Melanie McDonagh
December 29, 2020
Underlying the medieval images of courtly love featuring unicorns we find Christ and his mother.
November 26, 2020
Even before we had the benefit of the Pope’s views on civil unions, we had a new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, which was an opportunity for him to opine about the subjects close to him – openness to migrants and hostility to nationalism, for instance. However, it ended up as the occasion for a terrific fuss
October 08, 2020
59 per cent of those responding said they support changing the law to allow terminally ill and incurably suffering adults the option of a legal assisted death.
October 07, 2020
The exhibition explains the Christian concept of sin and salvation to an audience that may never have heard it before
September 29, 2020
John Finnis looks back on a public storm - and on his lifetime studying philosophy, law and Catholic teaching
September 04, 2020
The Global God Divide is the Pew Research Foundation’s new report on religion. Most of us, without reading a word of it, would probably guess quite correctly what it says. Europeans, and people in related Anglophone countries (Canada and Australia) are less religious than anywhere else. Poorer countries care more about God than rich ones.
September 04, 2020
For the political philosopher Larry Siedentop, “the only thing worse than religion is its absence”. And it’s the absence of religion right now that concerns him: specifically any understanding of Christianity. Because for him – and this is the argument of his most celebrated book, Inventing the Individual – it is Christianity that has formed
September 04, 2020
John Hume, the statesman and peacemaker who has died at the age of 83, was for a time a candidate for the priesthood in Maynooth seminary. He left, and subsequently married Pat Hone, but in the words of his political colleague Seamus Mallon, there was “a tinge of a cleric about him”. Mallon was referring
August 19, 2020
There are half a dozen in front of me as I write – prayer cards, the kind of holy picture that people would once slip into their prayer books. Now that churchgoers tend not to use them, it’s hard to see their modern function, except in the form of remembrance cards for the dead, which
July 06, 2020
Livestreamed Masses have been wonderful. But Catholicism is, after all, a touchy-feely religion
June 08, 2020
The Conservatives are bent on fast-tracking no-fault divorce; you have to wonder, what are the Tories for?