Reviews Articles

Elisabeth Frink: A view from within

22 February 2024 | by Marigold Bentley

Elizabeth Frink’s Walking Madonna (1981) |

Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) produced startling sculptures and artworks that continue to intrigue today. But what motivated her? How did she come to develop her art, and what was she trying to portray?

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I Seek a Kind Person by Julian Borger

08 February 2024 | by Ruth Tod

‘I had known about these things in my head but not really known it in my heart and body, until I read these deeply-expressive accounts.' | Book cover of I Seek a Kind Person

The title of this new book is the first line of an advertisement that was placed in the tuition column of The Manchester Guardian in August 1938, by Leo and Erna Borger. The full advertisement read: ‘I Seek a kind person who will educate my Boy, aged 11. Viennese of good family....

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Being Real: The apostle Paul’s hardship narratives and the stories we tell today, by Philip Plyming

25 January 2024 | by Simon Webb

'Why did Paul write so much about his own sufferings, including what may have been medical afflictions, such as the enigmatic thorn in his flesh?' | Book cover of Being Real: The apostle Paul’s hardship narratives and the stories we tell today, by Philip Plyming

Philip Plyming is the new cathedral dean up here in Durham. He is also new to publishing books: the last thing he brought out was a 2001 pamphlet called ‘Harry Potter and the Meaning of Life’. Now he is in charge of the cathedral where scenes in the boy-wizard film were...

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Enlarging the Tent by Jonathan Doering and Nim Njuguna

18 January 2024 | by Ruth Tod

‘Diversity is enriching. Each of us is a unique beautiful person on a journey.' | Book cover of Enlarging the Tent: Two Quakers in conversation about racial justice

Enlarging the Tent: Two Quakers in conversation about racial justice offers an insightful approach for individual and group consideration of racial justice issues. In eight tender and thoughtful conversations, Jonathan Doering and Nim Njuguna raise important questions about anti-racism and how to respond to it. Each conversation deserves time for...

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All Shall Be Well, by Richard Essberger

11 January 2024 | by Fiona Grimshaw

‘There is no doubt that the book is the result of immaculate and detailed research.’ | Detail of book cover of All Shall Be Well, by Richard Essberger

When I was first introduced to All Shall Be Well, I had not yet met Richard Essberger, its author. We had, however, been in a correspondence about one of the characters in the book – Tessa Rowntree, who plays a small but pivotal role in the story. The Rowntree Society, where...

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in this space we breathe, by Khadija Saye

04 January 2024 | by Simon Webb | 1 comment

'Quakers know the importance of remaining ‘in the silence’, as Khadija’s work and words encourage us to do.' | Peitaw, 2017, courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye

Among the powerful exhibits at the new Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland is a row of images by Khadija Saye, a Gambian-British photographer born in London in 1992. This series, in this space we breathe, was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2017, and has also been displayed at the British Library.

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Rustin, directed by George C Wolfe

14 December 2023 | by Pete Duckworth

'The film addresses the real issues and compromises involved in organising protest, especially the clash between ideals and practicality.' | Cover of Rustin, directed by George C Wolfe

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a pioneering US Quaker activist for civil rights, nonviolence, and gay rights. He was a pioneer of desegregation, and was beaten and arrested for sitting on the second row of a bus as early as 1942 (this later inspired the Freedom Riders). From 1944-1946 he was imprisoned...

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Our Last Awakening: Poems for living in the face of death, edited and annotated by Janet Morley

07 December 2023 | by Harvey Gillman

'There are many benefits in meditating on death, for such is a meditation on life itself.' | Book cover of Our Last Awakening: Poems for living in the face of death, edited and annotated by Janet Morley

A few months ago I was sent, anonymously, this book of poems on the theme of death and bereavement. It is quite extraordinary to receive such a gift out of the blue. If the donor is reading, I am grateful!

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Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

30 November 2023 | by Martin Shallcross

'Humans now have words in which they can communicate. They tell stories, describe dreams and hear inner voices.' | Book cover of Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

This book is about two doctors, one French, Jacques, one English, Thomas. They form a close friendship. Jacques marries Thomas’ sister Sonia. The story begins in the 1880s when mentally ill people are locked away, often indefinitely, in lunatic asylums. They are called ‘aliens’. Those caring for them are known...

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Do Quakers Pray?, by Jennifer Kavanagh

30 November 2023 | by Annique Seddon

'We become part of the conversation.’ | Book cover of Do Quakers Pray?, by Jennifer Kavanagh

Many of us already know and value Jennifer Kavanagh’s first book in the Quaker Quicks series, Practical Mystics, in which she explores the spiritually-attuned faith-in-action of Quaker experience. Her latest addition to the series helps us to think through, with wonder, the multifaceted nature of prayer as experienced by...

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