Culture Articles

‘Perhaps textile art can be a form of prophecy?’

16 January 2020 | by Linda Murgatroyd

Panels from the Loving Earth Project. | All images courtesy of the Loving Earth Project.

It can be difficult to engage deeply with environmental challenges. But if our faith has real value, it should help us to address challenges like these, and guide us in our actions. The Loving Earth Project (LEP) aims to help people address some of the challenges of environmental breakdown without...

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‘The Education of an Idealist’, by Samantha Power

09 January 2020 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | William Collins.

In Australia, the word ‘idealist’ has connotations of inevitable failure. In the US, people are more accommodating. ‘It is perfectly reasonable to build castles in the air,’ they assure us, ‘you just have to put foundations under them.’ Although born in Ireland, Samantha Power’s family moved to the USA...

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‘In the fullness of the Spirit there is room for all forms of creativity.’

FREE 02 January 2020 | by David Saunders

'These experiences speak to our human need for delight, comfort, inspiration, joy and consolation.' | Denise Jans / Unsplash.

For nearly thirty years I have had the privilege of making music with people in day centres, mental health hostels, hospitals, residential homes and prisons. I have been witness to the power of music to overcome disability, like the Parkinson’s sufferer putting a tambourine on his shaking leg and...

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‘Embodiment’, by Dinah Livingstone

02 January 2020 | by Frank Regan

The very last line of this celebratory collection of poems reads, ‘Thank you, Life!’ The fact that the poet puts the ‘L’ in uppercase suggests that she wants to personify life, to make it a person with whom one can relate. In the mystical vision of Saint John Jesus calls...

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The Christmas ghosts

19 December 2019 | by Roger Iredale

'Pure stardust, all of them.' | Ravi Patel / Unsplash.

In the keenest of winter-black air I hear them march up East and Manor Streets: Basil with his barrow cock-eyed over sliced up tree stumps; Megan, a gin glass tipped across her breast; balding Bertrand haughty in his black hat tilted to the sweep       ...

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‘Father Christmas and the Gift of Light,’ by Stephen Sayers (illustrated by Swea Sayers)

19 December 2019 | by Paul O’Kell

Close-up of the book cover illustration. | By Swea Sayers.

Dressed in cola red with a plastic face, Santa Claus offers commercial joy. The white-bearded old man of legend bestows gifts from teddy bears to computer fantasy worlds. This old tale – a fiction masquerading as fact for small children to believe – encourages parents to buy and buy, and already rich...

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Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay

12 December 2019 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Sing Yud Hay Vav Hay...' | Valentin Petkov / Unsplash.

Jackdaw, take your turn – ravens are breaking bread before you, under the ministering eye of morning’s winter moon.

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A Quaker Woman Sends a Christmas Card to a President

05 December 2019 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 2 comments

'No man can be despised / into goodwill.' | Kadir Celep / Unsplash.

This woman burns a mouse-bitten pinch of wax that passes for a candle, as she focuses the diamond of her mind on Donald.

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‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, by Yuval Noah Harari

21 November 2019 | by Reg Naulty | 1 comment

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Jonathan Cape.

This book gives a serious assessment of the challenges facing our world. Its author, Yuval Harari, is a professor of World History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This work consists of twenty-one essays on a wide variety of contemporary topics.

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‘A Word from the Lost’, by David Lewis

21 November 2019 | by Margaret Heathfield

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Inner Light Books.

This fine book is both scholarly and approachable. The author sets out to explore James Nayler’s thought and theology and reflect on its relevance today, by contrasting it with later Quaker thought as shown in our books of discipline since Nayler’s time. He achieves his aim with aplomb,...

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