Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is visiting professor in Public Ethics at the University of Chester and a senior research fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He writes on ethical, political and cultural issues. He has a fortnightly column in the Independent on Sunday and also writes for the New York Times and the Church Times. His latest book is Pope Francis – Untying the Knots. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

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The vicious schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1,400 years - and it's getting worse

Tracing the current conflict in Syria back to the year 632, when the Prophet Mohamed died

Determined: Danny Bond, seen here in 2001, eventually decided to starve himself to death

Child euthanasia: Too hard to live, too young to die

The decision in Belgium to allow euthanasia for sick children raises questions about the fitness of young people to make life-and-death decisions, and about medical ethics

A scene from 'The Prince of the Pagodas'
Still Freakish ... but increasingly common weather is causing problems around the world, like in the Somerset Levels

Prince Charles is right about climate change

Ignoring global warming and its causes is a comforting path for politicians paralysed by self-interest and the consolations of denial

Get the picture: Despite the positive spin, Benefits Street creates more Others for us to dismiss as diabolical

As 'Benefits Street' shows, we are quick to demonise and slow to understand

In its attempt to chase ratings, the Channel 4 programme merely reinforces stereotypes about people who rely on the state

New wave: Pope Francis has liberated many Catholics from decades of internal exile

Pope Francis can heal the Catholic Church

'Time' magazine's Person of the Year appeals to believers and atheists alike with a message that could bring redemption to a troubled faith

Funny money: Lenny Henry is a co-founder of Comic Relief

Comic Relief scandal: There are red faces behind the red noses

The charity is under fire after a ‘Panorama’ exposé, but the laws governing investments are complex

Scientology: If religions don’t need a God, what do they need?

We have got to the point where individuals can pretty much define it as they want

Nelson Mandela obituary: Madiba - the father of South African democracy

"Rwanda is our nightmare, South Africa is our dream." So wrote the Nobel Prize-winning African novelist Wole Soyinka in 1994. It was just a month after two events which seemed to span the polarities of despair and hope so many saw in the continent of Africa in the post-independence era. In Rwanda a million people had died in a ghastly genocide. But South Africa had made an astonishingly peaceful transition from oppressive white rule to a black-majority government elected in the country's first free elections ever - and it had done so under the guidance of one extraordinary man.

Nelson Mandela death: A man of his time, and above his time

Nelson Mandela was a man, always, of his time. Yet he was, paradoxically, one who in some ways stood apart from – and even above – that time. It was in this that his greatness lay.

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US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines