Culture Articles

Beck & Ball’s The London Friends’ Meetings

FREE 16 December 2009 | by Peter Daniels

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From my time on the staff of Friends House Library, I knew William Beck and T Frederick Ball’s 1869 The London Friends’ Meetings as ‘Beck & Ball’, the book to show historians the lie of the land before they explore volumes of minutes and other detailed evidence. Olive Yarrow from...

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Three thousand years from Galilee to the world

FREE 16 December 2009 | by Trish Carn

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A History of Christianity: the first three thousand years by Diarmaid MacCulloch. Allan Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books. ISBN: 978 0 713 99869 6. £35  The size alone is impressive. Comprising 1,161 pages including almost sixty pages of index, seventy-seven pages of notes and fourteen pages of suggested further reading, it makes you realise that...

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The fruits of conversation

09 December 2009 | by Jez Smith

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Rooted in Christianity, Open to New Light – Quaker spiritual diversity by Timothy Ashworth and Alex Wildwood, Pronoun Press in partnership with Woodbrooke. ISBN 978 0 955 6183 3 8. £9.   This book comes at the same time as the deadline of the Friends Quarterly essay competition on the future of Quakerism in Britain and in some...

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Hard Rain

09 December 2009 | by Rowena Loverance

Oiled bird, Brazil | Credit: D Rodrigues / UNEP / Still Pictures

We learn a lot about big environmental disasters but we may overlook the pollution we ourselves cause. Lights left on in empty rooms, car journeys that could have been cycle rides, heat pouring out of badly insulated homes, shopping taken home in single-use plastic bags. Our small acts of pollution...

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Not all of one mind

02 December 2009 | by Judy Kirby | 1 comment

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Occupied Minds: A journey through the Israeli psyche by Arthur Neslen, Pluto Press. ISBN 0 7453 2365 0. £16.99.  Who are the Israelis? We may think we know – proud, motivated Jews defending their right to a homeland. But is it true?  Some of the people Arthur Neslen spoke to in his psychic journey...

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An invented people?

02 December 2009 | by Harvey Gillman | 4 comments

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The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand, translated by Yael Lotan, Verso. 2009. ISBN: 978 1 84467 422 0. £18.99.  Spanish Jews are largely descended from converted Berber tribes from North Africa; Yemenite Jews are descendents of an Arabian tribe; many Jews from Eastern Europe come from Turkic Khazar stock; modern Palestinians are largely...

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My Name is Asher Lev

25 November 2009 | by Judy Kirby

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My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. Penguin. ISBN 978 014119 056 3. £9.99. Asher Lev is a young man who makes waves in his community. It is a strict orthodox one in 1950s New York, burdened with the rescue of Jews in hostile lands. Asher’s father works for the Ladover community Rebbe,...

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Daniel Deronda

25 November 2009 | by Rowena Loverance

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Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. Penguin Classics. ISBN 978 014043 427 9. £8.99. Rereading George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda at the same time as My Name is Asher Lev, it occurred to me that the story of the latter is actually subsumed into a single chapter of the former. When Daniel finally meets the mother...

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Festivals in poetry: Menorah

25 November 2009 | by Stevie Krayer

The ceremonial washing of hands before the start of the Pesach meal (Seder). | Photo: Kurt Strauss.

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A journey of transformation

18 November 2009 | by Elaine Pryce

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God Sleeps in Rwanda: a journey of transformation by Joseph Sebarenzi with Laura Ann Mullane. Atria Books. ISBN: 978 141657 573 3. £18.99.  The European subjection and colonisation of Africa has left a brutal legacy. From the indefensible abuses of enslavement and apartheid to the wanton plundering of Africa’s rich resources, it is...

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