Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing
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Tuesday 05 July 2011
The Onassis Buddha, a priceless Fabergé statue, survived for years on a Greek tycoon's yacht until it was bought in 2008 by a Russian billionaire art collector. One would have thought a hermetically sealed glass case in a new museum would be enough to protect it, but the treasure has suffered unforeseen damage in a freak accident after its display case shattered in "mysterious circumstances", leading to detachment of one of the statue's hands – and an irate owner.
Friday 17 June 2011
Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu: Feared and outspoken politician who wielded immense power behind the scenes in South Vietnam
Thursday 16 June 2011
Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, described as "the dragon lady" or "the oriental Lucrezia Borgia", wielded a huge influence in the short history of South Vietnam. As the sister-in-law of Vietnam's bachelor President Ngo Dinh Diem, she was the glamorous yet sinister unofficial first lady, thriving on publicity and becoming a politically powerful and often critically outspoken figure during the early Vietnam War. Madame Nhu enjoyed the complete support of Diem, as well as the complete loathing of President John F Kennedy and the US government.
Friday 06 May 2011
The chief minister of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh was confirmed dead yesterday, five days after the helicopter in which he was travelling vanished off the radar.
Saturday 30 April 2011
Friday 29 April 2011
Buddhist priests burned incense and chanted yesterday for Japan's tsunami victims, marking the 49th day since the disaster and closing the period when the dead were believed to be wandering restlessly through destroyed home towns.
Friday 18 March 2011
Shakespeare called her "an arrant thief" who had snatched her pale fire from the sun. ee cummings wondered whether she was a "a balloon, coming out of a keen city in the sky, filled with pretty people". She has shaped our language. When people ask for something unattainable, she is what we accuse them of metaphorically demanding. The mentally deranged are said to howl at her.
Monday 07 March 2011
Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg; £6.75
A landmark portrayal of a “generation destroyed by madness” and the downtrodden lives of Ginsberg and his fellow “angelheaded hipsters”, ‘Howl’ is one of the most important poems of the post-war period. The story of the obscenity trial that followed its 1956 publication forms the basis of the new film, Howl, starring James Franco.
Sunday 06 March 2011
Wednesday 02 March 2011
German scientists have said it may be possible to reconstruct the smaller of two giant 1,500-year-old Bamiyan Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan 10 years ago, which prompted a worldwide outcry.
Monday 28 February 2011
100BC: Religious sacrifice
In the Lotus Sutra, the doctrine upon which Mahayana Buddhism is founded, the bodhisattva Medicine King offers himself to Buddha by performing various acts of self-mutilation, including burning parts of his body.
Friday 18 February 2011
China's current status as a fountain of wealth probably means that Marco Polo's book will persist as the preferred British reading on early East-West contacts. But while he deserves due credit for his powers of observation, his standpoint remains throughout that of an expat, separated from the locals by communication barriers and concerned with the cultural sphere mainly when it affects his ability to make money. Three centuries later, we do find a man who did learn to speak the language, and to read the difficult literary texts of the cultural heritage, with the much more ambitious aim of changing China's way of thinking.
Sunday 13 February 2011
Once you get out of the Beijing suburbs, the road takes you through the hills, an increasingly dry landscape as you head north along a dusty, winding course. After just 50km, you are in a craggy, mountainous area where the breakneck expansion of the Chinese economy has no influence – more like the China we know from the long, shimmering ancient tapestries on silk.
Saturday 12 February 2011
Indian authorities have cleared the Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader, in an investigation into how $1.35m (£840,000) in cash made its way to his headquarters in northern India.
Tuesday 04 January 2011
Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.
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