Reviews Articles

Light in Darkness: The mystical philosophy of Jakob Böhme Coventry Cathedral (Until 5 July)

20 June 2019 | by Andrew Marsh

Portrait of Jakob Böhme by Christoph Gottlob Glymann. | Wikimedia Commons.

Why should anyone care about natural philosophy? This exhibition – an artistic and historical interpretation of Jakob Böhme and his work – offers an explanation. The display is superbly curated and animated by: Lucinda Martin, Universität Erfurt; Cecilia Muratori, University of Warwick; and Claudia Brink, State Art Collections, Dresden, Germany,...

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Living Adventurously: Experiencing Quaker testimonies in Spirit and in the world

20 June 2019 | by Yvonne Dixon

Close-up of the booklet cover. | The Kindlers.

‘Live adventurously’ is a Quaker Advice that trips easily off the tongue, but I suspect that many of us are more comfortable in familiar settings and in the company of those people we see as being of our own kind. This latest title in the series of booklets produced by...

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‘William Penn: A life’ by Andrew R Murphy

13 June 2019 | by Michael Wright

A close-up of the book cover. | 'William Penn: A life'.

William Penn’s reputation is that of a Quaker saint. His words are often quoted by Friends, as is the anecdote of George Fox telling Penn to wear his sword as long as he could. He is renowned for his ‘Holy Experiment’ seeking to establish in Pennsylvania a political environment...

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‘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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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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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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‘What do Quakers believe?’ by Geoffrey Durham

FREE 28 March 2019 | by Stephen Cox

Close-up of the 'What do Quakers believe?' cover. | Courtesy of Christian Alternative Books.

We British Quakers make things difficult for ourselves when communicating our faith. The reasons why have been obvious from my first days attending. We celebrate not having a creed, but this complicates any quick, coherent attempt to explain our ways; we view all statements of Quaker belief with fault-finding suspicion....

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