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Religion

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

simon-callow

Simon Callow’s notebook: What it’s like to lose at an awards ceremony

8 March 2014

It was one of those weeks. On Monday, I was in four countries: I woke up at crack of dawn in Austria, took my first plane in Germany, my second… Read more

Church_heath_1mar

I’m scared to admit to being a Tory in today’s C of E

1 March 2014

I am training for ordained ministry at a Church of England theological college. I am a trainee vicar, if you will. I am also a Conservative, which puts me in… Read more

WASHINGTON, D.C.., NOVEMBER 6, 2013: British comedians Sanderso

The church of self-worship: Sunday morning with the atheists

22 February 2014

I had always assumed that the one thing atheism had going for it was that you could have a lie-in on Sundays. For the past year, however, an atheist church… Read more

A little girl climbing into the confessi

Forgive me, Father

8 February 2014

For non-Catholics, the most luridly fascinating aspect of Catholicism is confession. Telling your inmost sins — and we know what they are — to a male cleric, eh? In a… Read more

Italian priest Paolo Dall'Oglio Photo: AFP/Getty

The one man who makes me hope for peace in Syria

18 January 2014

As Syria’s second peace conference looms, and we prepare ourselves for a lot of hot air drifting over from Geneva, I’ve been making a list of those players in the… Read more

Enoch Powell and a farmer (Photo: Express/Express/Getty)

Why should Nigel Farage have to fight the ghost of Enoch Powell?

11 January 2014

One of the genuine seasonal pleasures to be enjoyed as 2013 slipped around the U-bend was Enoch Powell making his familiar comeback as the Evil Ghost of Christmases Past. Enoch… Read more

12 October 2013

Nursing standards Sir: I share Mary Dejevsky’s concern regarding the impact of tired, overworked nurses on the quality of patient care (‘Short shrift for long shifts’, 6 October). However, it… Read more

explosive

The war on Christians

5 October 2013

Imagine if correspondents in late 1944 had reported the Battle of the Bulge, but without explaining that it was a turning point in the second world war. Or what if… Read more

Charles Moore's notes: While Justin Welby was finding God, I was eating baked beans

20 July 2013

Attending the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in April, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was much impressed by the bit in the sermon by the Bishop of London about how Mrs… Read more

Modern Cairo Reveals Its Ancient Islamic History

So, can we expect Channel 4 to broadcast a C of E call to prayer?

6 July 2013

It is very lucky for the BBC that Channel 4 exists. Whatever imbecilic, supposedly attention-grabbing trash the BBC commissions, there will always be its commercial rival around to commission something still… Read more

God Squad

The new God squad: what Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis have in common

6 July 2013

It’s a few weeks after the election of Pope Francis, and a notoriously leaky church source is talking about the revolution to come. The new leader of the faithful is… Read more

TS_Parris_145987577

Why no guidance from the Good Book on how to prioritise?

29 June 2013

Why is Christianity so unhelpful on the very ethical dilemma that most concerns ordinary people in our everyday lives? Why does Jesus have nothing helpful to say about the ranking… Read more

An Muslim imam (L), a Christian priest (

Chief Rabbi: atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians

15 June 2013

I love the remark made by one Oxford don about another: ‘On the surface, he’s profound, but deep down, he’s superficial.’ That sentence has more than once come to mind… Read more

The Cleansing of Naaman by Elisha. Woodcut from the Biblia Sacra Germanaica

The Serpent’s Promise, by Steve Jones - review

11 May 2013
The Serpent’s Promise Steve Jones

Little, Brown, pp.446, £25, ISBN: 9781408702851

The weight of bacteria that each of us carries around is equal to that of our brain, a kilogram of the creatures, billions of them, ten times as many in… Read more

Hobson

The Church of England needs a compromise on gay marriage. Here it is

27 April 2013

It is a wearyingly obvious observation, but the Church of England remains crippled by the gay crisis. It is locked in disastrous self-opposition, alienated from its largely liberal nature. Maybe… Read more

Atheist advertising campaign launched

Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists

13 April 2013

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his… Read more

Devil

Satan is back

23 March 2013

It used to be said by Catholic priests back in the 1950s that the Devil was delighted when human beings decided that he did not exist. In those days it… Read more

A.C. Grayling

9 March 2013

My friend and colleague Roy Brown has just sent me the draft of a statement he will submit to the UN Human Rights Council this spring, on behalf of the… Read more

Priests and pagans

9 March 2013

The Catholic tradition of priestly celibacy (Latin caelebs, ‘unmarried’), by which Cardinal O’Brien was bound, is not a dogma, but a discipline. In other words, it can be altered at the… Read more

The Spectator’s Notes

2 March 2013

On the BBC television news on Monday night, the first three items concerned alleged misbehaviour by the famous — Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Lord Rennard and Vicky Pryce, the ex-wife of… Read more

Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Tarcisi

Sex, lies and the next Pope

2 March 2013

In a corner of the Sistine Chapel, below Michelangelo’s hell, is a door to the little chamber they call ‘the room of tears’. Some painter-decorators are in there, frantically doing… Read more

AC Grayling vs God

2 March 2013
The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism A.C. Grayling

Bloomsbury, pp.269, £16.99, ISBN: 9781408837405

‘Atheism is to theism,’ Anthony Grayling declares, ‘as not collecting stamps is to stamp-collecting’. At this point, we are supposed to enjoy a little sneer, in which the religious are… Read more

Long life

2 March 2013

Eight years ago I was in Rome for The Spectator to write a piece about the election of a new pope after the death of John-Paul II. Within two days,… Read more

The frontiers of freedom

28 January 2012
You Can’t Read This Book Nick Cohen

Fourth Estate, pp.224, 12.99

The problem with Nick Cohen’s very readable You Can’t Read This Book is the way that you can, glaringly, read this book. This isn’t quite as glib an observation as… Read more