Religion

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Original sin makes us better people. I wish Muslims believed in it

11 April 2015

These days, on the subject of Islam, non-Muslims have mostly divided into two camps — though there’s a little wandering about between the tents. Camp one says Islam is a… Read more

catholic

Why Pope Francis could be facing a Catholic schism

11 April 2015

A scurrilous rumour recently swept Rome: the Pope had summoned the Vatican’s finance czar over his expenses. When Cardinal George Pell admitted spending more than £3,000 on a designer kitchen… Read more

Was Mrs Thatcher religious? Photo: Getty

Did Mrs Thatcher ‘do’ God? Denis thought so, and he should know, says Charles Moore

11 April 2015
God & Mrs Thatcher Eliza Filby

Biteback, pp.432, £25, ISBN: 9781849547857

As I swink in the field of Thatcher studies, this book brings refreshment. It is a welcome and rare. Far too many writers attitudinise about Margaret Thatcher (for and against)… Read more

Quiet Please

What happened to Julie Burchill on silent retreat

4 April 2015

When I told my friends that I was planning to attend a silent retreat, they all laughed. It’s true that I am something of a convivialist; my idea of heaven… Read more

Allah, Zeus and the Church of England

21 March 2015

A ‘prominent liberal cleric’ in London has held an Islamic prayer service in his church, St John’s Waterloo. ‘We all share these traditions,’ he announced, ‘so let us celebrate our… Read more

Muslims Celebrate The Festival Of Eid In London

Where the battle for the future of British Islam is being fought – and perhaps lost

7 March 2015

Tell Mama is Britain’s most prominent opponent of anti-Muslim prejudice. It monitors everything from criminal assaults to everyday abuse. The far right loathes it, and the Conservative press sells the… Read more

Rifle Lesson

21 February 2015

Gun lords The House of Lords shooting range is to be turned into a cupboard, having previously survived an attempt by Labour MPs in 1997 to turn it into a… Read more

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It takes a village (or six): the battle for rural churches

21 February 2015

Some of the longest job descriptions belong to rural Church of England clergy. ‘So what do you do?’ ‘I’m the Rector of Aldwincle, Clopton, Pilton, Stoke Doyle, Thorpe Achurch, Titchmarsh… Read more

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Paganism is alive and well – but you won’t find it at a Goddess Temple

14 February 2015

The first pagan temple to be built in Iceland for a thousand years has just been granted planning permission, a wonderful bureaucratic detail that shows up just how much this… Read more

Theo

Why calling for an ‘Islamic Reformation’ is lazy and historically illiterate

7 February 2015

It’s been said for years now: Islam needs its reformation. Some centuries ago, Christianity ditched its theocratic impulse and affirmed modern political values — let Islam do likewise! Let its… Read more

Quran_SE

How to save Islam from the Islamists

17 January 2015

The terror attack in Paris last week represents Islamism’s most explicit declaration of war on free society. Non-Muslims were slaughtered in a non-Muslim country to avenge a so-called crime against… Read more

An activist of Pakistani Islamic party J

'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude

17 January 2015

The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault. In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly… Read more

‘The Census at Bethlehem’, 1566, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Climate change, Bruegel-style

13 December 2014

It is cold, but not in a cheery, robin-redbreast kind of way. The sky is slate blue; the sun, a red ball, is slipping below the horizon, figures carrying heavy… Read more

8 November 2014

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

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

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

11 October 2014

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

30 August 2014

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