Culture and Review

  • 8 Nov 2009

    These days it isn’t just anxious looking MPs and peers, lobbyists, civil servants, journalists and security officials you’ll find wandering near Westminster, says Simon Barrow. Among other unexpected visitors have been Batman, a troupe of clowns, Basil Brush and his foxy friends, a group of zombies and a super-sized duck home

  • 27 Oct 2009

    Several of the greatest poets in the English tradition from the Renaissance onward have sought to replace God with the human imagination, says Michael Robbins. They have succeeded and failed in interesting ways.

  • 17 Aug 2009

    Many people have lost touch with ‘institutional religion’, but not with spirituality. Henry Morgan explains how people’s passions and everyday experience can reconnect them with the God they already knew, and with prayer as a natural, integrating, liberating activity.

  • 24 Jul 2009

    If watching football is a waste of time with redeeming moments, much the same could be said about prayer, says Simon Barrow. In a world over-attached to achievement, we lose sight of the fact that what is really 'worth it' is often not conventionally 'productive'.

  • 8 Jul 2009

    Both believers (not least evangelical Christians) and non-believers are having a hard time pinning Barack Obama's faith down, says Martin Davis. This is because he is redrawing the dialogue about religion in the US.

  • 6 Jul 2009

    Guns in church show that whatever is said about trust in God, it's really the threat of violence that we are trusting, says Simon Barrow. And this contradiction opens up a rich vein of satire against our patently false gods.

  • 21 Jun 2009

    A cruciform tree, a radiating Cain eyed by a simmering Abel, and a doveish floating vision: these are just a few of the images you will see as part of the vital but little-known Methodist Art Collection, says Simon Barrow.

  • 11 May 2009

    ‘Men-women’ have become the criminalized ‘homosexuals’ of Senegal, a ‘gay’ man is left unburied, and the transsexual teenager lives with the medical diagnosis of ‘psychosis’, writesMelissa Conroy. So what is 'normal' and what part does religion play in defining it?

  • 8 May 2009

    A celestial atlas by Scottish amateur astronomer Alexander Jamieson, dating back to 1822, is a star item at this year's Christian Aid charity book sale in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is one of the largest sales of its kind in the world.

  • 28 Apr 2009

    Imagine a world of soundbite politics where the machinery of power is operated by vacillating professional politicians, out of their depth, jumping to the whims of ruthless, feral spin doctors. That, says Alan Wilson, is the film satire In The Loop

  • 15 Apr 2009

    How many assumptions do we make about other people, on a daily basis, for no other reason than experience, bigotry and lack of imagination? Hannah Kowzsun has her presets challenged by Susan Boyle.

  • 12 Apr 2009

    Theologian Janet Soskice has written a fascinating book about the discovery of one of the most ancient Gospel manuscripts. It reminds us that to understand the search for meaning in the present we have to value the past properly, says Simon Barrow.

  • 8 Apr 2009

    The great tradition of the biblical oratorio lives on, says Andrea Stephens. Retired URC minsiter Derek Wensley has his full-length work Re:Creation performed at St John's Smith Square in April 2009.

  • 7 Apr 2009

    Bill Maher's movie Religulous manages to laugh at nutty believers and caricature religion, but it doesn't actually tell us anything or indicate any learning, says Deirdre Good. It takes us in a circle - but not a hermeneutical one.

  • 26 Mar 2009

    The Green Bible, reviewed here by researcher Simon Beard, illustrates that the message of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures is concerned not just with human beings but with the whole earth.