Robbing Peter to pay Paul

2 June 2010 12:00 am

Two hundred years ago Jeremy Bentham wrote a tract which purported to demonstrate that the Christian religion was in effect manufactured by St Paul and not by Jesus.

Not every aspect pleases

2 June 2010 12:00 am

Half a century ago I read W. G. Hoskins’s book, The Making of the English Landscape, when it first came out. It was for me an eye-opener, as it was for many people.

Crying in the wilderness

12 May 2010 12:00 am

For 30 years Alastair Crooke was ostensibly a British diplomat working in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Columbia and Pakistan.

The woman behind the god

12 May 2010 12:00 am

The emperor Augustus was the original god/father.

No earthly good

21 April 2010 12:00 am

Peter Hitchens writes a stern column most weeks in the Mail on Sunday.

Unholy warriors

14 April 2010 12:00 am

Taming the Gods is an extended essay about the secular state, something which would until recently have been regarded as a non-issue by English-speaking readers.

The greatest puzzle of all

31 March 2010 12:00 am

Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, is one the best works written in English in my lifetime.

Faith under fire

24 March 2010 12:00 am

Giles St Aubyn, in this long, scholarly book, sets out to chronicle the shifts in the Christian churches from the scientific revolution of the 17th century, and the Enlightenment of the 18th, to the apparent triumph of secularism in the 20th.

Addle-pated modernist

6 January 2010 12:00 am

In 1564 a book was published calculating that there were 7,409,127 demons at work in the world, under the administrative control of 79 demon-princes.

Parsons’ displeasure

14 December 2009 12:00 am

Despite its prosaic title, this is a humdinging page-turner of a book, revealing in livid detail the scandal of how the Church of England jettisoned onto the market what the author describes as ‘perhaps the most admirable, desirable and ascetic body of domestic buildings ever built’.

Playing the opportunist

30 September 2009 12:00 am

In historical writing the Restor- ation era has been the poor relation of the Puritan one before it.

Too much information

23 September 2009 12:00 am

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

Liobams lying with rakunks

16 September 2009 12:00 am

Set in the future, The Year of the Flood tells the story of the build-up to and aftermath of a pandemic known as the Waterless Flood, which all but eradicates the human race.

Dangerous liaisons

24 June 2009 12:00 am

Surviving, by Allan Massie
The Death of a Pope, by Piers Paul Read
Coward at the Bridge, by James Delingpole

Ways of escape

20 May 2009 12:00 am

The Enemy of the Good, by Michael Arditti

You can go home again

20 May 2009 12:00 am

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands, by Aatish Taseer

Instead of the poem

13 May 2009 12:00 am

The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, retold by Peter Ackroyd

Henry’s VIII’s Psalter

15 April 2009 12:00 am

In this illumination from Henry’s VIII’s Psalter, the young David prepares to confront Goliath.

Doomed to despotism

7 April 2009 12:00 am

Khomeini’s Ghost, by Con Coughlin
The Life and Death of the Shah, by Gholam Reza Afkhami

A balancing act

12 December 2008 12:00 am

English Catholic Heroes, edited by John Jolliffe

All or nothing

12 December 2008 12:00 am

A Book of Silence, by Sara Maitland

Dirty diggers

3 December 2008 12:00 am

The Buddha & Dr Fuhrer, by Charles Allen