Culture Articles

Let us Dream: The path to a brighter future, by Francis, the pope

21 January 2021 | by Howard W Hilton

'We need to feel again that we need each other.’ | Book cover of Let us Dream: The path to a brighter future, by Francis, the pope

New Year encourages us to speculate on our future. In this book, Francis surveys the crises around us: the pandemic, the climate, and also the longstanding problems of inequality, of war and its casualties (think Yemen). Francis sees these in biblical terms, as a ‘sifting’, a time when our usual...

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Wonder

21 January 2021 | by Jenny Gateau

'In a fearful season, when hearts are fragile, we all need to grasp the frontiers of wonder’s possibility.' | Photo by Elias Maurer on Unsplash

What shall I send them today, I wonder, those faithful inheritors of George Fox standing silent and still on the top of Pendle Hill or up against the wall in Launceston Prison.

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Joe Biden: American Dreamer, by Evan Osnos

14 January 2021 | by Reg Naulty

Book cover of Joe Biden: American Dreamer, by Evan Osnos |

Joe Biden was born in 1942. Evan Osnos says in this worthy biography that ‘He was a product of the Silent Generation, the cohort of Cautious Americans born between the Great Depression and the end of world war two’. He was true to type. He was to be a cautious politician,...

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A Book of Psalms, by Edward Clarke

07 January 2021 | by Jonathan Wooding

Book cover of A Book of Psalms, by Edward Clarke |

Do Friends still know the Psalms? They aren’t mentioned in the subject index to Quaker faith & practice. Do we still care about Myles Coverdale’s translations of them in the Book of Common Prayer (transferred wholesale into the King James Bible)? If Quakerism is a flowering from the...

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Small Axe, created and directed by Steve McQueen

31 December 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Micheal and Amarah-Jae in Lovers Rock. |

Artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen has built a career out of truth-telling. Moving from his acclaimed art, which earned him a 1999 Turner Prize, to his celebrated film work, the west London-raised son of Caribbean parents has always been drawn to depicting the truth, the raw truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes...

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Circles

31 December 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'Vectors of responsibility wiggle, billow, go plop in a puddle of resounding echoes.' | by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash.

We gauge things differently now as we walk down the street: eyeing up personal space. A man whose dreads unfurl, mouths his thanks for the room I make as he legs it past me.

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The Black Book: The Britons on the Nazi Hitlist, by Sybil Oldfield

31 December 2020 | by Peter Speirs

‘We need the archive of history.’ | Book cover for The Black Book: The Britons on the Nazi Hitlist, by Sybil Oldfield

Learning how to recognise the seeds of conflict and of peace is vital to Friends. Learning from history is an essential part of the process. In the late 1930s, while parliament considered allying with Germany to defeat communism (the greater threat, as some saw it), the Nazi party prepared a...

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Poetry for Christmas

17 December 2020 | by Rainbows Children’s Meeting and RV Bailey

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash. |

‘Asylum seekers’ Poem by Rainbows Children’s Meeting Mother and child are fleeing in the night.    The brutal soldiers search for them behind,        And in the sky ahead, the stars are bright.        The tired donkey follows Joseph’s light,  ...

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The counsel of trees

10 December 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'...into the green burn of silence, the about to happen...' | by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community ? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking...

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Islam: Context and complexity, by Paul Stenhouse

10 December 2020 | by Reg Naulty

Book cover of Islam: Context and complexity, by Paul Stenhouse |

Paul Stenhouse came into prominence because of the work he did on medieval Samaritan texts. That work required research into Middle Arabic, on the grammar of which he became an authority. He was also fluent in contemporary Arabic and Hebrew, so he was in a good position to write about...

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