Catholicism

Let’s vote ‘in’ to renew the EU, says Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

7 May 2016 9:00 am

There is more to the idea of Europe than narrow economic considerations. The Remain side needs to say so

St Paul (detail) by the Byzantine Master,St Sophia Cathedral, Kiev

Following Jesus’s followers

26 March 2016 9:00 am

In his new book Apostle Tom Bissell has an advantage over writers who go looking for Jesus: he can start…

Brute force: St Peter’s internal elevation

The embarrassing story of Scotland’s most important 20th century structure

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Finding St Peter’s is not straightforward. I approach the wrong way, driving up a pot-holed farm track between a golf…

Pretentiousness isn’t such a crime

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Aversion to pretentiousness was probably an English trait before Dr Johnson famously refuted Bishop Berkeley’s arguments for the immateriality of…

John Irving spoilt my Christmas

23 January 2016 9:00 am

This novel, John Irving’s 14th, took the sheen off my Christmas, and here are the reasons.   The comments on…

Map of the Island of Utopia, book frontispiece, 1563

Even Corbyn would find Thomas More’s Utopia too leftwing

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Thomas More’s 1516 classic is a textbook for our troubled times, says William Cook

Was Éamon de Valera Ireland’s Franco?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

A highlight of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival was the Rough Magic Theatre Company’s production of The Train, a musical…

The people who really need the Pope's help

26 September 2015 8:00 am

On Tuesday, Pope Francis set foot in the United States for the first time in his life. His plane touched…

The city became cacophonous with bells: a detail of Claes Visscher’s famous early 17th-century panorama shows old London Bridge and some of the 114 church steeples that constantly tolled the death knells of plague victims

Shakespeare's London: where all the world really was a stage

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Sam Leith on the year 1606, when plague and panic were rife — and all the world really was a stage

A Gothic horror story of quicksands, riptides and rituals

29 August 2015 9:00 am

This is a muddle of novel (originally published last year by Tartarus Press in a limited edition), though there are…

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is greeted by Pope Francis during the Ordinary Public Consistory at St. Peter's Basilica in February (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty)

Benedict XVI leaves Rome to deliver a coded message to his supporters

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Quietly, discreetly, the Pope Emeritus is offering a different vision to that of Pope Francis

Boccaccio and Petrach

The constant inconstancy that made Italians yearn for fascism

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Jan Morris on the inconsistency and paradox that has characterised Italian thought over the centuries — and the desperate search for certainty

2067: the end of British Christianity

13 June 2015 9:00 am

England’s churches are in deep trouble

Anita Dobson as Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Armada: 12 Days to Save England’

BBC2's Armada has something for everybody - including three yummy female historians

30 May 2015 9:00 am

It has been a while since the BBC really pushed the boat out on the epic history documentary front. Perhaps…

Social comedy Peruvian-style

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Mario Vargas Llosa likes to counterpoint his darker novels with rosier themes: after the savagery of The Green House came…

Letters: A defence of Catholicism

11 April 2015 9:00 am

In defence of Catholicism Sir: Michael Gove gives an excellent defence of Christianity (4 April), but his embarrassment about the…

Why Pope Francis could be facing a Catholic schism

11 April 2015 9:00 am

It’s not just Vatican infighting any more. Pope Francis has a potential schism on his hands

Why wasn’t there more about the other faiths over Easter on the BBC?

11 April 2015 9:00 am

There was no shortage of Easter music and talks across the BBC networks with a sunrise service on Radio 4…

What happened to Julie Burchill on silent retreat

4 April 2015 9:00 am

What I discovered on a silent retreat

The Babies Castle, a branch of Dr Barnardo’s at Hawkhurst, Kent in 1934

Love child or bastard: the lottery of being born on the wrong side of the blanket

21 March 2015 9:00 am

My father was handed over a shop counter when he was a day old. His aunt had tried to pass…

The really shocking thing about Michel Houllebecq’s Soumission — he rather likes Islam

17 January 2015 9:00 am

News of Michel Houllebecq’s Soumission caused such a stir that the book was pirated online before publication. David Sexton reports on the latest literary event in France

Rugger, Robin Hood and Rupert of the Rhine: enthusiasms of the young Antonia Fraser

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Despite it being a well known fact that Antonia Fraser had earthly parents, I had always imagined that she had…

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

Climate change, Bruegel-style

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The world depicted by the Flemish master is not so different from our own, says Martin Gayford

The erotic Mary, left, by Gregor Erhart (c.1515–20) and the penitent Mary, right, by El Greco (c.1577)

No one in the Bible has been as elaborately misrepresented as Mary Magdalene

22 November 2014 9:00 am

A bogus history book and a new oratorio turn Mary Magdalene into the wife of Jesus and a human rights activist. Damian Thompson feels sorry for the poor woman

Catherine Parr, whose dangerously reformist ‘Lamentation’ Shardlake must recover, comes over as a sympathetic and attractive figure

The Tudor sleuth who's cracked the secret of suspense

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Some reviewers are slick and quick. Rapid readers, they remember everything, take no notes, quote at will. I’m the plodding…