SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
January 02, 2020
January 02, 2020
I was in Simele, northern Iraq, last month, where the forerunners of ISIS cut the throats of up to 3,000 men, women and children in 1933. No memorial has ever been erected to these Assyrian Christians and the site of their bloody end is shamefully littered with rubbish. Historians are uncertain whether their corpses were
January 02, 2020
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) was born in Buffalo, New York, graduating from Colgate University in 1900 and Union Theological Seminary in 1904. He had already been ordained a Baptist minister a year prior at Manhattan’s Madison Avenue Baptist Church. The year he graduated, he was called to the First Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey
January 02, 2020
Cryptic across 5 Quickly student is immersed in the sort that’s undesirable around here (6) 7 Relax and breeze past union extremists (6) 9 Not very sophisticated this lot, in this spiel riotously… (11) 10 …announcing (states the old queen), an artist (7) 11 Psalmist, in part, was a phoney (5) 13 Verges on one
January 02, 2020
Ordinary Form Sunday, January 5: The Epiphany of the Lord Is 60:1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3A, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12 Monday, January 6: Weekday after Epiphany 1 Jn 3:22 – 4:6; Ps 2; Mt 4:12-17, 23-25 Tuesday, January 7: Weekday after Epiphany or St Raymond of Peñafort 1 Jn 4:7-10; Ps 72; Mk 6:34-44 Wednesday, January
January 02, 2020
The Epiphany is perhaps an under-celebrated feast in Britain, in comparison with other countries. Often it represents only the Twelfth Night, the day when trees and decorations must come down (if they are even still up), and when feasting halts with the end of the holidays and a return to work. Yet even in Ireland
January 02, 2020
Frantically last-minute Christmas shopping, I was arrested by a sign in a shop window: “Don’t forget yourself this Christmas.” It struck me as a neat expression of almost everything that is wrong with contemporary thought. For all the ghastly commercialisation of the season, the custom of giving gifts retains some crypto-realisation of the significance of
January 02, 2020
The ancient Church gave much greater importance to the feast of Epiphany than to the relative latecomer Christmas. “Epiphany” is from the Greek for a divine manifestation or revelation. There are many “epiphanies” in Scripture, such as when God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. The Latin Church’s antiphons for Vespers reflect the tradition
January 02, 2020
The Epiphany of the Lord Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3 & 5-6; Mt 2:1-12 (Year A) “Where is the infant King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.” Matthew’s infancy narrative gives us the familiar story of the Wise Men who had travelled from the east
January 02, 2020
Free to Believe By Luke Goodrich, Penguin Random House, 288pp, £19.99/$24 Is religious liberty still a bedrock principle of American freedom? Are people of faith today ready to defend what has been called the nation’s first freedom? In Free to Believe: The Battle over Religious Liberty in America, Luke Goodrich has produced a marvellous primer
January 02, 2020
The Northumbrians By Dan Jackson Hurst, 320pp, £20/$34.79 Dan Jackson grew up on the banks of the Tyne to parents from Newcastle and pit-village Northumberland. Later in life, he came to realise that not everywhere was like the place he had grown up. “Why were the pit villages so close-knit, and where did that instinctive
January 02, 2020
How to Think about God By Marcus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman Princeton, 151pp, £13.99/$16.95 This handy little book could just have well been called “How to Think about God – just before Jesus Turned Up”. It is a translation (with Latin on the lefthand page, as in a Loeb) of Cicero’s works On
January 02, 2020
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any new Christmas movies airing right now; in truth, I tried a couple, but couldn’t get very far with either. There was a whiff of the Hallmark Channel about both of them: too much formula and too little substance. One could do worse, but one could also