Issue 24-01-2020

Featured story

‘Wherever you go in the world, said Xenophanes, you find gods who look exactly like the locals.’

FREE 23 Jan 2020 | by Joseph Jones

When we think of ancient Greece, two different pictures often come to mind. The first is a world of outlandish stories: Medusa and the Minotaur, Titans and a Trojan horse, golden fleeces and the gods. The second is more practical: men in white beards wrestling with science, philosophy and the...

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Top stories

‘But who took the time to write what was first spoken?’

23 Jan 2020 | by Jane Mace

‘Some are familiar names, but most are less well known, and a good number of them are children.’ | Photo: MJ Seka / Unsplash.

Publishing the ‘truth’ was a big commitment for early Quakers, but expressing their message was first and foremost a spoken matter. They called out to crowds in marketplaces, and demanded attention from church congregations. They confronted powerful men in formal chambers; they spoke up in courtrooms and corridors. For this,...

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‘When we accept life on its own terms, we tacitly admit of a purpose to Life itself.’

23 Jan 2020 | by Tony D’Souza

Still photograph from the Soviet Film of the liberation of Auschwitz. | Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Belarussian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography.

What is it that makes you want to keep on living? And how would you maintain your will to live in the face of extreme suffering, such as the death of a child or the diagnosis of a terminal illness? What would make you want to go on? The great...

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‘All the characters – all of whom would be doing good deeds – would be Muslim.’

23 Jan 2020 | by Farah Mendlesohn

Close-up of Virtue Reality poster. | Photo: Islamic Relief UK.

Imagine being an aid worker in Syria, delivering life-saving care. Picture being on the ground in Pakistan, providing shelter to families who’ve lost everything after floods have devastated their community. Or witness life in Mali, where drought means that a microdam can deliver life-saving water to families in need.

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

23 Jan 2020 | by Marian Liebmann

Close-up of the book cover. | Photo: 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 Jan 2020 | by Andrew Rigby

A close-up of the book cover. | Photo: 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 Jan 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

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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Friends in Leeds doubt council green pledges

FREE 23 Jan 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers in Leeds have claimed that ambitious plans announced by the council to more than halve its carbon emissions by 2025 are undermined by its commitment to expanding a local airport.

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LSE project explores 1980s peace activism

FREE 23 Jan 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

A new online project exploring the history of peace activism in the UK during the 1980s has been launched by the London School of Economics (LSE) Ideas think tank and the Open University. ‘Peace Activism in the UK during the Cold War’ is an online resource created by Luc-André Brunet...

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Glebe House features in Church Times

23 Jan 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker trustee-governed Glebe House has been praised in a Church Times article for its work with teenage boys displaying ‘harmful sexual behaviour’.

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BYM questions review of aviation tax

23 Jan 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has sent a letter to the government questioning its moves to support the aviation industry by reviewing Air Passenger Duty (APD). In an open letter to the chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, BYM says that reducing APD directly threatens the UK’s net-zero commitment.

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Huddersfield Friends say: ‘Culture Declares’

23 Jan 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Huddersfield Quakers have declared a climate emergency through a new initiative that aims to provide arts and culture providers with a way of pledging to work towards a zero-carbon future. With participants able to declare as an individual or organisation via the Culture Declares Emergency website, the number of ‘declarers’...

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Letters - 24 January 2020

23 Jan 2020 | by The Friend

Baby elephant In response to Colin Cann’s letter (10 January) about Cicely Saunders I have a vivid memory of visiting St Christopher’s Hospice (the very first hospice) in 1976. Cicely Saunders told our party of visitors that they had the head of a famous circus as a patient. She found...

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