Culture Articles

I see you now

14 June 2018 | by Judith Line

‘I see you now’. | Daiana Lorenz / flickr CC.

I have looked into your eyes, spoken no words except ‘Forgive me. Please forgive me’.

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Quakers and Shakespeare

14 June 2018 | by John Lampen

Through most of our history, Quakers were strongly discouraged from going to the theatre. Friends once objected to Shakespeare being studied and performed in Quaker schools. Our attitudes changed gradually, with the formation of the Quaker Youth Theatre in 1976 as a key moment. Nowadays we have excellent touring Quaker drama...

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Experiencing music

14 June 2018 | by Marian Liebmann

It may seem curious to be reviewing a book on music and spirituality for a Quaker publication, when Quakers have a history of rejecting music (and the other arts) as an avenue to spiritual experience. Ormerod Greenwood’s Swarthmore Lecture of 1978, Signs of Life: Art and Religious Experience, brought the...

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Enlightenment now

07 June 2018 | by Reg Naulty

Steven Pinker’s latest book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, is an amiable, good-natured book. Reasonable optimism breaks out everywhere. The title, though, is a little misleading. It brings to mind someone like Buddha and his kind of enlightenment. It isn’t about that, it...

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Cherry blossom

31 May 2018 | by Ann Fox

'Delicate, a lovely sight, / It gives me such intense delight.' | iccoloNamek / Wikimedia Commons.

Outside my window I can see Pink blossom on the cherry tree. Delicate, a lovely sight, It gives me such intense delight.

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Quakers are hilarious!

03 May 2018 | by Audrey Chamberlain

Among non-Quakers and (‘I hope so’) Quakers too, it’s widely considered to be a good thing to be able to laugh at yourself. With this idea in mind I went on a literature search to see if I could find anything which self-parodied Quakers. I was pleased to discover...

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Slow crawl

19 April 2018 | by Trish Munn

'A small green insect slow-crawls the keyboard...' | David Botwinik

A small green insect slow-crawls the keyboard, a cumbersome climb on delete to home. Wait… It moves on for break, and then pause before travelling back to insert, which he did, or she. Now lost forever I’m afraid to continue lest squashing an insect prolong my karma.

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Joan Baez

05 April 2018 | by Helen Johnson

Joan Baez in 2003. | Pat Swayne / Wikimedia Commons CC.

On the face of it, Jeremy Paxman’s interview with Joan Baez, broadcast recently on BBC Radio 2, could have been a straightforward plug for her current, and seemingly her last, major tour and her new album (Whistle Down the Wind). But the choice of interviewer seemed interesting, almost provocative… after...

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Final journey

22 March 2018 | by Robert Kyte

'When I make my final journey / I will travel light, / For light, and lightness are my destination.' | Jolanta Fallach / flickr CC.

When I make my final journey, in the large black Bentley with the huge windows, I shall travel light. Men will stop, remove their hats, look down as I go past, a tribute to my lightness. Acknowledging my lack of weight women will pause their children’s play and bow...

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Beyond walls

08 March 2018 | by John Bond

It is always fascinating to hear a person tell of finding a new and more satisfying direction in life. One delight of Beyond Walls, complied by Suresh Khatri, is that you can dip into it anywhere, and read a profound experience, told in a couple of pages. In this book...

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