Culture Articles

The Truth About Modern Slavery, by Emily Kenway

10 June 2021 | by Matthew Barrow

'The larger issue is: why are people this vulnerable; why do they so severely lack options?' | Book cover of The Truth About Modern Slavery, by Emily Kenway

In this lucid book, Emily Kenway argues that the idea of ‘modern slavery’, as framed by some politicians and campaigners, is a misleading concept. It not only misrepresents the nature of the problem, she says, but actively acts against the kinds of policies and practices that would actually help with...

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Asperger’s Children: The origins of autism in Nazi Vienna, by Edith Sheffer

10 June 2021 | by Martin Shallcross

Book cover of Asperger’s Children: The origins of autism in Nazi Vienna, by Edith Sheffer |

This is one of the most harrowing books I have ever read. Edith Sheffer is a historian in the USA. Her son Eric, aged thirteen, is among the one-in-sixty children being diagnosed on the autism spectrum there. She dedicated this book to Eric.

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Seven Small Experiments with Language and Faith

10 June 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 2 comments

'Omega and Alpha sit squat on Skull Hill. As Christ dies, the dark nightof language splits like a fig.' | by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

For Brian Ashley of Shetland Meeting, who calls for a generosity of spirit to embrace diverse ways of expressing our experience (Letters, 28 May). 1. Omega and Alpha sit squat on Skull Hill. As Christ dies, the dark night of language splits like a fig. Faith, like dawn’s yolk gutters gold...

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Be Patterns: An illustrated Advices and queries, by Jenny Vickers and Brett Fletcher

03 June 2021 | by Bob Ward

‘The wisdom of our familiar “little red book” shines forth in a starburst of colour.’ | Detail of book cover of Be Patterns: An illustrated Advices and queries, by Jenny Vickers and Brett Fletcher

‘Sing and rejoice, ye Children of the Day and of the Light; for the Lord is at work in this thick night of Darkness’ wrote George Fox in one of his epistles (Quaker faith & practice 20.23). The musician Jenny Vickers, in collaboration with the artist Brett Fletcher, was inspired by...

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After: A doctor explores what near-death experiences reveal about life and beyond, by Bruce Greyson

03 June 2021 | by Robert Ashton

Detail and title of book cover of After: A doctor explores what near-death experiences reveal about life and beyond, by Bruce Greyson |

It was just a wasp sting, but the evening before an early morning flight was not the best time to discover I was allergic. When the ambulance crew arrived they could not immediately find my pulse. Fortunately, after a couple of adrenaline injections and two hours in A&E,...

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Sorry About the Mess, by Heather Trickey

03 June 2021 | by Stevie Krayer

'Everyday joys have become intense and precious... Yet buried in that glee is a ‘pinprick of writhing despair'.' | Book cover of Sorry About the Mess, by Heather Trickey

I’ve been wondering whether this book should carry a warning, like those you get before a movie begins: ‘Swearing, violent emotions’; ‘Readers may find some poems distressing’; ‘May cause choking from laughter’.

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Elijah’s Crossing

03 June 2021 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Clear a space there, fill the glass, sit upon the ground for Elijah, holding out his hand to the uncreated light of the mind that tarries.' | by Yingchih on Unsplash

i.m. Graham Shaw, (1944-2021), author, teacher, priest, friend There, at the footbridge, in Lublin province, Kacyzne’s* camera finds Elijah out, his cap, his waistcoat, the shod foot lifted back, crossing the river, a grey flame. And working horses (the charcoal, the chestnut), break for the silver waters running ...

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Given

27 May 2021 | by Angela Arnold

'The words lined up nicely – didn’t they just.' | by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

The words lined up nicely – didn’t they just. Big and small, banging their pans till their echoes rattled in my tight chest, their once-, twice-swallowed meaning doing its level best to squeeze clear of the Light, into the light of day: my throat just a handy device, a dispenser,...

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Still Love Left: Faith and hope in later life, by Michael Jackson

20 May 2021 | by Andy Stoller | 1 comment

‘I found it invaluable to understand more about the spiritual side of ageing.’ | Book cover of Still Love Left: Faith and hope in later life, by Michael Jackson

This 100-page book is an essential for our ageing Society. It will be an invaluable asset to our elders and ‘caring and supportive Friends’ (or whatever is replacing the name of overseers), or just anyone who is approaching later life with some trepidation. It changed my view from fearing the...

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Stories from Palestine: Narratives of resilience, by Marda Dunsky

20 May 2021 | by Andrew Rigby

Book cover of Stories from Palestine: Narratives of resilience, by Marda Dunsky |

I have been visiting Israel and Palestine since the early 1980s. It has been an emotional journey. There was the buoyancy I felt when the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, when there seemed to be grounds for hope. Since then it has been a challenge to express any optimism.

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