SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
April 11, 2019
April 11, 2019
When the Romans designed crucifixion as their means of capital punishment, they had more in mind than simply putting someone to death. They wanted to accomplish something else too, namely, to make this death a spectacle to serve as the ultimate deterrent so that anyone seeing it would think twice about committing the offence for
April 11, 2019
To those not of a squeamish nature and who don’t mind the occasional beheading or people being eaten by their own dogs, this Sunday sees the start of the eighth and final series of the epic fantasy Game of Thrones. Based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, it has
April 11, 2019
Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) was born Philip Schwartzerdt at Bretten; his father was armourer to the local lord; his mother was a niece of the great humanist scholar, Johann Reuchlin. At the age of 10 he was sent to a Latin school where he learned both Latin and Greek, and read a great deal of poetry
April 11, 2019
Cryptic across 5 Paul’s relative shredding of union cards (10) 7 Minerva’s equivalent article another included to make a point (6) 8 Mark is referenced in ensemble madrigals (6) 9 Nationalists, for instance, make such taxes (5) 10 Mirror’s covering religious study Juliet heads here in Oxford? (7) 12 Prominent Jew Paul converted is American
April 11, 2019
Ordinary Form Divine Office Week II Sunday, April 14: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord Lk 19:28-40; Is 50:4-7; Ps 22; Phil 2:6-11; Lk 22:14 – 23:56 Monday, April 15: Monday of Holy Week Is 42:1-7; Ps 27; Jn 12:1-11 Tuesday, April 16: Tuesday of Holy Week Is 49:1-6; Ps 71; Jn 13:21-33,
April 11, 2019
Tenebrae is a Passiontide service now rarely observed in the Catholic Church. Tenebrae is the Latin for “darkness” and the ceremony involved the gradual extinguishing of 15 candles arranged on a triangular “hearse” over Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It concludes with the strepitus, or “loud noise”, often the slamming shut of a
April 11, 2019
On Maundy Thursday bishops and priests will celebrate the Chrism Mass and renew the promises made at ordination. Many are demoralised by the scandals besetting the priesthood, as are many laity. It’s necessary to remember that the cultic power of priesthood to make Christ present is as undiminished as ever, even though the actions of
April 11, 2019
With our Jewish forebears singing at Passover, and with countless Catholic generations, at every Mass we cry to the Lord, “we beseech You, save us! … hôšîʿâ-nā!”. This Sunday we say “Hosanna” with a difference. On that first Palm Sunday, pilgrims swarmed the holy city, swelling its numbers to a million. As they walked to
April 11, 2019
Palm Sunday Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Lk 22:14 – 23:56 (Year C) The liturgy of Holy Week begins with the blessing of palms and the commemoration of the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. Superficially there is a stark contrast between the unrestrained jubilation with which the crowds welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem and the hostility that was
April 11, 2019
The newest must-read British crime novel has to overcome the obstacle of starting from one of the genre’s most-read premises. In a remote and snow-bound location, one of a group of 11 guests celebrating the new year at a hotel is murdered. The killer must logically be one of the other 10 revellers, or one
April 11, 2019
Woke: A Guide to Social Justice By Titania McGrath Constable, 150pp, £12.99/$18.99 An aphorism traditionally attributed to GK Chesterton noted that “when a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” This book makes the same point but in a very different way. Titania McGrath, a “radical intersectionalist poet
April 11, 2019
The Territories of Human Reason By Alister E McGrath OUP, 304pp, £25/$35 Alister McGrath is someone who has frequently taken on the New Atheists, once charging Richard Dawkins with practising “the atheist equivalent of slick hellfire preaching”. McGrath’s new book, subtitled Science and Theology in an Age of Multiple Realities, is a different kind of
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