Culture Articles

What lies ahead

29 October 2020 | by Anne M Jones

'Permitted, but risky is a bus ride. I take my familiar 172.' | by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash.

Mashed into the last summer sunshine cold wind, a paper-cut barb Hints at winter ahead. Though told that warmth would banish this virus it hovers still, a vulture that threatens our fresh horizons Corralls us back into our cups Of joys, miseries and memories.

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Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation, by Richard Bauckham

15 October 2020 | by Frank Regan

'The human became a god and we forgot how embedded in nature we are; how interdependent with other creatures.' | Book cover of Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation, by Richard Bauckham

Richard Bauckham, a former professor of New Testament Studies, invites us to rediscover our membership of the Community of Creation. This community is larger than the community of humankind. It consists of many species, some extinct, others recently born.

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Choosing Life: My father’s journey in film from Hollywood to Hiroshima, by Leslie A Sussan

15 October 2020 | by David Zarembka

‘The horror of nuclear weapons is effectively realised; Choosing Life carries a gut emotional level of disgust.’ | Book cover of Choosing Life: My father’s journey in film from Hollywood to Hiroshima, by Leslie A Sussan

I should say up front: Leslie Sussan and I are both members of Bethesda Meeting in Maryland, USA. She has been working on this book about her father, Herb Sussan, for thirty years.

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Conspiracy, directed by Frank Pierson

15 October 2020 | by Helen Porter

'The script is not invented. It comes from the only surviving copy of the SS minutes of the proceedings.' | Cover of Conspiracy, directed by Frank Pierson

I recently plucked up courage to watch this film, which I have had on my shelves since I bought it in a charity shop a couple of years ago. It is a hard watch but essential viewing, increasingly so with the resurgence of fascism in the world.

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The Book of Trespass: Crossing the lines that divide us, by Nick Hayes

15 October 2020 | by Tony Tucker

‘Nationalism suits the landowning classes because it gives people a sense of ownership when they own nothing at all.' | Book cover of The Book of Trespass: Crossing the lines that divide us, by Nick Hayes

Nick Hayes’ fascinating and provocative book is a tearing away of much of the pretence of British history. A nation’s view of itself is rarely realistic and in our case the fabrications are literally set in stone. The great houses and estates of the land are, if we care...

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Ground zero

15 October 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

'...building a meeting-house from open air...' | by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash.

Rain is all mist without fall, and mottled with grey motions, the sky. There’s a sea-roar in that fruitless sycamore, and eucalyptus leads the cheer, throwing jackdaws in streaming perichoresis about a pale, unblooded sky.

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The proud old lineage

08 October 2020 | by Reg Naulty

We Poets of the proud old lineage Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why (James Elroy Flecker) When found, they are free to follow their imaginations, gladly, wherever they may lead:

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Practical Mystics: Quaker faith in action by Jennifer Kavanagh

08 October 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

‘Look closely and you can find some snippets of personal disclosure left tantalisingly around when the author’s internal editor was sleeping.' | Book cover of Practical Mystics: Quaker faith in action by Jennifer Kavanagh

‘Oh, Jonathan – the Quakers? Lovely people, but completely impractical!’ This was the polite (but stinging) verdict, sometime in the early 1990s, on my latest head-in-the-clouds, ‘Manchester Guardian’ venture – attending Quaker Meeting in Wandsworth. It was delivered by Mrs O, the elderly mother of an old school friend, who had introduced...

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Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo, by Philippe Lançon

24 September 2020 | by Anne M Jones

‘This book is firmly non-religious, and yet there are moments of universal spirituality...' | Book cover of Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo, by Philippe Lançon

This riveting book, which I discovered by accident in a secondhand bookshop, transcended the rest of my lockdown book pile. Philippe Lançon is the journalist who ‘played dead’ when terrorists burst into the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. This account is a story of...

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Wild Olympians

24 September 2020 | by Ann Banks

'And still they come – in the hope of last-resort' | Brian Sumner on Unsplash

And still they come – in impossible inflatables – The pregnant, the children, men, stubbled And hollow-eyed with desperation. Dwarfed by towering tankers, their tiny boats Pitched and tilted, precipitously, by ferries’ careless wakes.

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