Tag Archives: Religion

“An Introduction to Quakerism” by Ben Pink Dandelion

When you take into account the author’s name, this book is surprisingly serious; perhaps Ben Pink Dandelion felt that he had to overcompensate for the expectations his name might generate. But he had no need – as the man in … Continue reading

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Leon Uris: “Exodus”

Fascinating. Published in 1959, not long after the events it describes, this self-proclaimed epic novelĀ tells the story of the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948. It claims all the ‘events’ are true, but the characters are fictional, and … Continue reading

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Karen Armstrong: “Compassion”

Another book I read so long ago I can’t really remember the details. Hey ho. I read this as part of a discussion group with the Quakers – a chapter a week. Armstrong’s impressive – a muscular thinker and speaker … Continue reading

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“Unapologetic” by Francis Spufford

This book was greeted with huge triumph and relief by Christians, mainly fading Anglicans, as a new candidate for the project of doing-religion-without-actually-believing-it’s-true-in-the-way-that-we-think-people-in-the-past-did. Like Don Cupitt and Karen Armstrong, Quakers and Unitarians. So does it pass muster? Yes, in that … Continue reading

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The Life Of Pi (film)

[Megaspoiler alert: reading this really will spoil your enjoyment of the film] The story which Pi tells to the writer in this film is one which will apparently give the hearer faith in God. But after t-10 minutes I was … Continue reading

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The Empty Church

Church has been likened to sport, concerts, or anywhere else where people gather, face the same direction, and share the same experience. But what’s the difference about church? It’s that at football people watch the football, and at a concert … Continue reading

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The success of Jesus and Socrates

Jesus and Socrates are standard examples of being counter-cultural, of teaching the unpalatable, of advocating unacceptable behaviour, of giving explanations which oppose those of their societies: “The Sabbath was made man, not man for the Sabbath”, “pray for those who … Continue reading

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I Believe in Father Christmas

The story goes that some Japanese businessmen wanted to decorate their shopping centre for the Christmas season, so they sent researchers to the UK to get some ideas. Some time later the shopping centre opened with great razzmatazz, and the … Continue reading

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Rowan the wizard

Rowan Williams is how we imagine Pozzo’s Lucky in the days when he used to delight his master with his ‘thinking’ (Waiting for Godot, Act One:) He even used to think very prettily once, I could listen to him for … Continue reading

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“The Tao Of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff; “The Secret Message Of Jesus” by Brian Maclaren (the latter only skimmed)

Both try to explain how life should be lived, and to that extent are self-help books. Maclaren writes from within an orthodox US Christian perspective, but reinterprets Jesus’ message as a call to a radical politics and a suspicion of … Continue reading

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