Religion

Stephen Fry: the high-priest of juvenile atheism

22 August 2013 20:32

Well, well, well. Nick Cohen’s excellent column in this week’s mag  has caused a stir today. Sadly, though, Nick’s astute…

What might link Cleopatra, Augustus, Constantine, Barbarossa, Tamerlane and the Farnese?

22 August 2013 10:30

The stone called sardonyx looks a lot more fragile than it actually is. It’s luminous like glass, but hard like…

Discovering Poetry: Thomas Traherne’s life lessons

19 August 2013 10:40

From ‘Wonder’, by Thomas Traherne How like an angel came I down! How bright are all things here! When first…

Independence would not change single ideology Scotland

12 August 2013 16:12

There is probably no other country in the democratic West where the state oversees economic activity and regulates private life…

Tunisia is not following Egypt’s path

1 August 2013 16:01

In recent days Tunisia has seen major unrest after the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. Faced with growing unrest…

Pope Francis: who am I to judge?

29 July 2013 18:19

Pope Francis I’s statement about homosexual clergymen remains extraordinary; no matter how often one reads it. ‘If a person is gay and…

Pope Francis gets evangelical on World Youth Day

28 July 2013 10:59

Copacabana Beach dazzled last night as many, many thousands of worshippers (perhaps as many as 3 million according) celebrated mass…

It’s fine to be a ‘new’ atheist, so long as you don’t object to Islam

22 July 2013 17:21

Rationality can be an overrated quality in politics. Communism was, after all, so rational that it imagined humans as lumps…

Alexander Pope, mock-epic, modernity and misogyny

16 July 2013 12:01

from The Rape of the Lock And now, unveiled, the toilet stands displayed, Each silver vase in mystic order laid.…

Ulster’s Orangemen show that Britain can do internecine vindictiveness too

11 July 2013 10:23

This all looks terribly good fun, don’t you think? Spectacular towers which will make wonderful bonfires: it must have taken…

The great Lord Tebbit

4 July 2013 10:48

Lovely to see Lord Tebbit at The Spectator summer party. I reminded him that he had once written a short…

Laughing at sin

1 July 2013 11:27

Francis Quarles, An emblem on books ‘The world’s a book, writ by the eternal art Of the great Maker, printed…

The Pope, Welby, and the new evangelical swagger

14 June 2013 13:27

There’s excitement in Christian circles today about the first meeting of Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby. The two men have…

Jonathan Sacks is right: the new atheists have only opened a discussion

13 June 2013 16:33

There is a superb piece in the magazine this week by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, titled ‘Atheism has failed:…

The fatuousness of a scientist. Steve Jones edition

10 June 2013 9:00

It’s refreshing to hear an eminent scientist like Professor Steve Jones concede that their discipline has delivered less than it…

Professor Steve Jones: Why I think religion is a bad thing

10 June 2013 8:45

Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London. Some of his previous books include: The Language of…

Discovering poetry: John Donne, from deviant to Dean of St. Paul’s

3 June 2013 12:43

Holy Sonnet 7, John Donne At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death,…

A makeshift memorial for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. Picture: Getty

God, guns and America

17 May 2013 15:27

While training as a playwright, I was taught that any gun brought onstage must go off. Anton Chekhov said, ‘One must…

Cult fiction – Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

14 May 2013 13:57

There’s an attraction, certainly, in joining a cult. Not a Sheryl Sandberg working women type cult but a good old…

It’s time for the Church of England to drop the culture wars

30 April 2013 15:14

Almost three thousand years ago the Prophet Amos asked ‘can two walk together except they be agreed?’ How can the…

Move over, Dawkins. The atheist spring of the last decade is wilting.

19 April 2013 16:09

I couldn’t get Richard Dawkins to reply to Theo Hobson’s excellent article on ‘the new new atheists’. Probably, he didn’t see my message. Or maybe…

Wisden finally merits the epithet ‘Cricket Bible’

17 April 2013 11:11

The man who christened Wisden ‘The Cricket Bible’ had little religion. Wisden is an unprepossessing sight: a 1,500 page tome…

Live from Golgotha

31 March 2013 18:04

A rather charming and typically self-deprecating Easter sermon from Archbishop Justin at Canterbury Cathedral; I’m beginning to like him. His…

Happy Easter

31 March 2013 11:15

It is a glorious morning, suitable weather to mark this joyous day in the Christian calendar. The leading column in…

Brace yourself for the real experience of going to a rural parish service on Easter Sunday

31 March 2013 7:30

‘And we extend a special welcome to all our visitors here today.’ That’s the vicar speaking; and this Sunday is…