SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
July 10, 2020
July 10, 2020
A Turkish court has paved the way for the former Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to be turned back into a mosque.
July 10, 2020
One of the most eloquent chapters in Edward Gibbon’s vast book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire comes as the book is drawing to an end, when Gibbon describes the fall of Constantinople to the Turks. Centuries before, this had been the greatest city in Europe and the Mediterranean, but now it was
July 10, 2020
Across the West, a new religious movement is unfolding. This “Great Awokening” professes high ideals in terms that are dangerous to dispute. Anyone who declines to “believe all women” will appear sexist. Anyone who dissents from the movement’s account of racism will appear to deny that “black lives matter”. A few weeks ago, at a
July 10, 2020
One pressing question for the US Church is how to retain the millennial generation – those born between 1981 and 1996. Many are lapsing; but within the figures there are some intriguing differences. According to the Pew Research Centre, 35 per cent of African American Catholics are millennials. By contrast, millennials make up just 16
July 10, 2020
Empty shelves, a shortage of essential goods, not being able to travel easily; such has been the lockdown experience in the UK. For the parishes on the islands of the South Atlantic, however, such things are a normal part of life. Travelling around the island parishes, what I have learnt above all is to abandon
July 10, 2020
That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation By David Bentley Hart Yale University Press, 222pp, £20/$26 Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart denies that hell is everlasting. He does not merely claim that we have grounds for hope for the salvation of all. Nor does he hold that the unsaved will be
July 10, 2020
Patrick Deneen’s book Why Liberalism Failed, the fruit of decades spent thinking through the riddles of the modern political order, was only expected to engage – as Deneen has put it – “a small audience of political theorists and like-minded discontents”. But it landed in 2018, just as the liberal cons­ensus was beginning to unravel,
July 10, 2020
The Vatican has made an arrest in the ongoing case of a London real estate deal gone sideways. The suspect, it was announced by Vatican chief prosecutor Gian Piero Milano, is Italian financier Gianluigi Torzi, who stands formally charged with crimes including extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money-laundering, and faces 12 years in prison, if
July 10, 2020
Dear Paul, What bliss it was in that dawn to be alive! As the statues fall, or are besieged, a new era is presaged in which the only statues left will be those of whom “we” approve. That seems to me at the heart of the difficulty with current affairs: who is the “we” who
July 10, 2020
In the aftermath of the collapsed criminal case against Cardinal George Pell, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse released its redacted findings concerning the cardinal. The findings unwittingly drew attention to a serious consequence of the sexual abuse crisis, namely the loss of credibility of bishops, even among priests. The
July 10, 2020
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warned his disciples that some Gospel seed would fall to waste among thorns. Suffocating “cares, riches and pleasures” (Luke 8:14) are inevitable in every time and place, a temptation in every life. But what if an entire civilisation becomes a vast bed of thorns that would choke the
July 10, 2020
Britain’s Pilgrim Places By Nick Mayhew-Smith and Guy Hayward British Pilgrimage Trust (forthcoming), 607pp, £19.99 Britain’s Pilgrim Places is a very welcome and highly original reference book on Britain’s sacred heritage. Whilst designed to appeal to those of all religious backgrounds – the authors’ watchwords are “open to all” and “bring your own beliefs” –