Edwin Denby’s attempt to link the famous Nutcracker ballet with the message of Christmas – from “envy and pain” to “invention and social harmony” – offers only part of the potential religious content of this seasonal ritual, says Spencer Dew.
The Philip A. Potter Library (formerly the Ecumenical Library) consists of more than 120,000 volumes, 1,300 specialized periodicals, some over a century old, and more than 12,000 boxes of archives containing nearly 20 million irreplaceable documents related to the history of the ecumenical movement.
A Nigerian Roman Catholic priest who has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's television show and won praise for his fictional accounts of the lives of children in Africa, says that writing, like the priesthood, is a religious calling
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
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.