Culture Articles

‘Annihilation’ directed by Alex Garland

13 June 2019 | by Mike Brooks

‘Where is the dividing line between human and animal?’ | Still image from Annihilation.

This sci-fi thriller provokes serious spiritual questions about the interdependent nature of human life and the ecosystem. The story in a nutshell: an object from space smashes into a remote part of the US coastline, triggering an ecological event in which an area of swampland is colonised by a mysterious...

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Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

23 May 2019 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the cover of 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' | John Murray.

Stephen Hawking was working on this book until the time of his death. It contains a valuable introduction by a friend and scientific collaborator, Kip Thorne, and a fond memoir by his daughter, Lucy.

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The Sybils Speak in Quaker Meeting

16 May 2019 | by Dana Littlepage

'The last bird sang...' | Patrick Hendry / Unsplash.

The last bird sang its black remembrance of earth at the bottom of our garden. One black bird perched on the edge of time a spindle twig quickened by May, its golden beak

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Environmental Ethics: A very short introduction 
by Robin Attfield

16 May 2019 | by Alan York

This very readable book is a survey of the wide range of questions that faces anyone who thinks seriously about our environment and the future of the planet.

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The House of Islam: A global history 
by Ed Husain

16 May 2019 | by Reg Naulty

It is hard to imagine a better book than this about the current state of Islam, and what could be done to better its prospects. Its author was in born in London to Muslim immigrants from India. As a teenager, he became a part of international Muslim radicalism, which he...

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Earth Day 22/04/19

09 May 2019 | by Christopher Sleeman

'Once we would have celebrated such a day...' | NASA.

Once we would have celebrated such a day. Now a poem would likelier be elegy than eclogue, Or, in music, requiem replace the anthem’s part. Nor can we with any confidence pray Earth rest in peace or light perpetual, While humanity remains to rend its heart.

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Steven Crisp and Gertrude: Quaker Travelling Ministers by Rosalind Thomas

02 May 2019 | by Stuart Masters

A close-up of the cover of 'Steven Crisp and Gertrude: Quaker Travelling Ministers' by Rosalind Thomas. | Courtesy of Rosalind Thomas.

The stories we inherit about the genesis of new religious movements tend to focus on the role of one or two dominant characters. These become regarded as founding figures. But for every George Fox and Margaret Fell, there are always many other influential individuals whose faithful ministry and steadfast witness...

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The Four Horsemen: The discussion that sparked an atheist revolution

25 April 2019 | by Reg Naulty

In 2007 Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens – the ‘four horsemen’ of new atheism – sat around a table and recorded a two-hour conversation. This recent book is the transcript of that recording, with brief introductory essays by the three still living (Hitchens has died) and a foreword by...

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Elegy for Spring

18 April 2019 | by Kathleen Bell

A linnet. |

One day, when none recall how slowly leaves uncurl from buds’ bright stickiness,

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I wish

11 April 2019 | by Courtesy of Mid-Wales Area Meeting

Aleppo, Syria. | Muhannad Ghannam / Unsplash.

For myself I wish… I would like some football boots, I would like some football boots, I would like some football boots and a gaming PC, PS4 keyboard and a mouse. I would like an Xbox, I’d like some more bedclothes I would like a Yorkie bar

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