Michael Ledger-Lomas

There’s much to be said for nostalgia

Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator for the EU Commission, called Brexit an expression of ‘hope for a return to a powerful global Britain, nostalgia for the past’ – a mood that ‘serves no purpose in politics’. Popular historians have echoed his view of nostalgia as a syndrome which affects declining societies such as Great Britain.

Leap of faith: the miraculous phenomenon of levitating saints

The ‘ordinary academic mind’, William James wrote, struggles to recognise things which ‘present themselves as wild facts with no stall or pigeonhole’. The Yale professor Carlos Eire has a passion for them. His erudite, wilfully eccentric study of baroque Catholicism glories in the supernatural powers of holy persons. He showcases two kinds of miracles they

Our struggle to concentrate is nothing new

Our ruined attention spans seem to be the consequence of a recent fall from grace. Big Tech was our tempter. Having tasted its dopamine, we got hooked on its likes and notifications. Even Thoreau got bored with practising his ‘habit of attention’ at Walden Pond But while the digital attention economy is new, the struggle