Culture Articles

Sayings on the Riches of Life by Rosemary May Wells

24 June 2021 | by Roger Knight

Book cover of Sayings on the Riches of Life by Rosemary May Wells |

Rosemary May Wells is a prolific but gentle writer. I find her writings an inspiration. Sayings on the Riches of Life is a departure from her usual work, however. It is a wide-ranging collection of sayings drawn from a very broad compass. Some are paraphrases of well-known quotes, others are...

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The Raising of Lazarus

17 June 2021 | by Michael Saunders

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for Graham Shaw (1944-2021) Lazarus, hope of my spring self, held in this black earth, resting beneath the hollow of a tree. And then Yeshua finds you, his tired and tender hands reach you; and, exhausted, he pulls you from the dark, he brings you to the green warmth of...

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Living in the Mystery: Between head and heart, by Jan Arriens

17 June 2021 | by Roger Bartlett

Book cover of Living in the Mystery: Between head and heart, by Jan Arriens |

Jan Arriens’ book is a personal account of his experiences around life and death. Jan is a Quaker by convincement: at his first Meeting, as he tells us in his introductory chapter, he found himself ‘swept up in a kind of forcefield’ and his ‘vertical sense of connection with whatever...

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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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