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Religion

Spectator letters: Mindfulness, addiction, and dinner with Richard Nixon

Mind games Sir: I hope that people are not unduly put off by Melanie McDonagh’s misrepresentation of mindfulness as a cop-out for navel-gazers who lack the moral fibre to engage… Read more

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Watch out Pope Francis: the Catholic civil war has begun

8 November 2014

‘At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the church is like a ship without a rudder,’ said a prominent Catholic conservative last week. No big deal,… Read more

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is something worse than just a smug middle-class trend

1 November 2014

The chances are that by now either you or someone you know well has begun to practise ‘mindfulness’ — a form of Buddhism lite, that focuses on meditation and ‘being… Read more

Pope Benedict XVI (L), meets Britain's C

Jonathan Sacks on religion, politics and the civil war that Islam needs

1 November 2014

Jonathan Sacks has an impressive track record for predicting the age we are in. In his 1990 Reith Lectures, ‘The Persistence of Faith’, the then chief rabbi pushed back against… Read more

Jane Horrocks as the slovenly matriarch still fond of her bullying husband George (‘East is East’ playwright Ayub Khan Din, left)

Is London's West End Jewish enough for David Baddiel’s musical The Infidel?

25 October 2014
The Infidel — The Musical Theatre Royal Stratford East
East is East Trafalgar Studios

David Baddiel has turned his movie, The Infidel, into a musical. The set-up is so contrived and clumsy that it has a sweetness all its own. A golden-hearted London cabbie,… Read more

Spectator letters: St Augustine and Louise Mensch, war votes and flannel

Faith and flexibility Sir: What a contrast in your two articles on religion last week: one liberal atheist parent (Claire Stevens) concerned about her son’s turn to conservative Islam, and… Read more

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I was a liberal atheist. And then my stepson found radical Islam

4 October 2014

Two years ago this week, my stepson came home wearing an Arabic black thawb. He walked into the sitting-room, smiled defiantly at me and at his father, and asked us… Read more

Photo: Mary Turner/Getty

When women bishops come, here's where conservative Anglicans will go

20 September 2014

Anglicans aren’t the sort of church-goers who set much store by miracles, signs and wonders. Yet their own church is one of the greatest miracles of our society: it has managed… Read more

Knee-jerkers vs knee-tremblers

13 September 2014

A little joke by Paddy, Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, turned upon something to be shunned. Conservative ministers, he said, had ‘indulged in a spasm of knee-jerking which would have made… Read more

The BNP Hold A Demonstration In Central London

Is Britain hardening its heart against Muslims?

6 September 2014

British public opinion has never really turned against Muslims. According to Pew’s 2014 Global Attitudes survey, 26 per cent of us have ‘unfavourable’ attitudes towards Muslims in this country; compare… Read more

Six rivals for the name Isis

Not in their name The BBC decided to start calling the Islamic terror group Isis by the acronym IS instead. Some organisations who are retaining the name: — Isis Equity… Read more

28 Days Before The Independence Referendum

The SNP’s 'cybernats' are a modern political scourge – with the zeal of converts

30 August 2014

The first ‘yes’ campaign volunteer knocked on my door towards the end of last year. She was a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. I glanced at her dog-eared tally… Read more

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I never found The One. But my marriage is a joy

23 August 2014

Pity the modern starlet. Be she steaming-hot pop-tart or reality-show show-off, her range of emotional experiences will, thanks mostly to the gentlemen of the press, be strictly limited. She will… Read more

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The bizarre – and costly – cult of Richard Dawkins

16 August 2014

The other day I wrote something to upset the followers of Richard Dawkins and one of them tracked me down to a pub. I had been asked to give a… Read more

Spectator letters: VAT and sugar, Boris Johnson and cricket, whisky and bagpipes

Sugar added tax Sir: Julia Pickles (Letters, 14 June) suggests a sugar tax to combat the obesity epidemic and discourage food manufacturers from adding sugar to everything from bread to… Read more

The Egyptian goddess Isis

The bloody battle for the name Isis

28 June 2014

‘This’ll make you laugh,’ said my husband, looking up from the Daily Telegraph. For once he was right. It was a letter from the Pagan Federation complaining that the acronym… Read more

Spectator letters: Islamophobia, breast-feeding and Bach

Rational fear Sir: An interesting contrast between the articles by Douglas Murray and Innes Bowen on Islamic influence in the UK (‘Save the children’, 14 June), and the one by… Read more

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Churchgoing is good for you (even if you don’t believe in God)

21 June 2014

Few people, don’t you find, are as irritating as those who define themselves as Spiritual But Not Religious? There was a riveting  piece in the Sunday Times ‘Style’ magazine last… Read more

Spectator letters: The trouble with religion, alternatives to HS2, and whisky-drinking dogs

Old cabby’s tale Stephen Rommei’s London cabby story (Diary, 7 June) reminded me of catching a cab one cold night with a few compatriots back in the Seventies. The driver… Read more

Spectator letters: The trouble with religion, alternatives to HS2, and whisky-drinking dogs

A history of persecution Sir: Colin Brown (Letters, 7 June) ignores some good reasons for keeping religion out of society. Small groups of believers are fine, but not totalitarian dictatorships.… Read more

Spectator letters: Ken Loach defended, and the music of Pepys

We need religion Sir: Roger Scruton (‘Sacred hunger’, 31 May) describes a reason, dare I say a ‘purpose’, for religion in society. Evolutionary biologists such as the evangelical atheist Richard Dawkins… Read more

Spectator letters: How schools fail boys, Jonathan Croall answers Keith Baxter, and why atheists should love the C of E

Why girls do better Sir: Isabel Hardman notes that girls now outperform boys at every level in education (‘The descent of man’, 3 May), implying that this is a symptom… Read more

The Passion of Jesus is performed on Good Friday to crowds in Trafalgar Square

Yes, Britain is a Christian country

26 April 2014

I can’t say it was a great surprise to read a letter from a group of well-known authors, academics, comedians and politicians in the Telegraph earlier this week complaining about… Read more

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It's time to reclaim Islam from the fanatics. Here's how

29 March 2014

I am not a moderate Muslim, I am a reformist. Rooting out corrupt practices can never be an act of mere moderation. Restoring integrity, or wholeness, is always a radical… Read more

Orestes consults the oracle at Delphi (Roman, 1st century AD).

Management consultancy! Sculpture park! Sports stadium! The many faces of the Delphic Oracle

22 March 2014
Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World Michael Scott

Princeton University Press, pp.399, £19.95, ISBN: 9780691150819

‘In ancient times … hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived a strange race of people … the Druids. No one knows who they were … or what… Read more