Culture Articles

The holy city

30 January 2020 | by by Reg Naulty

'Spiritual hope will be cultivated...' | Ron Whitaker / Unsplash.

Therefore I have sailed the seas and come to the holy city of Byzantium. WB Yeats.

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‘Berlin to London: An emotional history of two refugees’ by Esther Saraga

23 January 2020 | by Marian Liebmann

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Vallentine Mitchell & Co Ltd.

One might think the market is flooded with books about and by refugees, but this one is an exceptional treat. It is a combination of a couple’s personal story (Wolja and Lotte) and a context reseached meticulously by their daughter, Esther Saraga.

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‘Gandhi the Organiser. How he shaped a nationwide rebellion: India 1915-1922’ by Bob Overy

23 January 2020 | by Andrew Rigby

A close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Irene Publishing.

Advices & queries enjoins us to live ‘in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars’. But however well-intentioned we might be, our everyday lives are enmeshed within institutions and structures that sow the seeds of war. Furthermore, while we might be able...

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After God

23 January 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

'So, get real, raven, on your highest perch...' | Sergio Ibanez / Unsplash.

Get real, raven, on your highest perch – winter sun can catch your beak yet, O, silhouette on the empty sky. Larch has lost her colour now. Cattle hold their peace. Lichen prospers on the ancient cherry.

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‘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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