News

Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

Travel By Numbers: New Years

World religions mark the start of the year in different ways – and on different days, says Sebastian Lennox

Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life, By Karen Armstrong

Anyone who has heard the religious historian Karen Armstrong speak on a public platform about the origins of faith and its role in our world will know the buzz her oratory creates around her subject. Her erudition and ability to convey complex ideas on the page, in a series of best-selling books which include A History of God and biographies of the Buddha and Muhammad, has long been widely admired. But in the flesh Armstrong brings an extra, more urgent dimension - the power to challenge audiences to consider afresh their prejudices about religion, and thus their own behaviour.

Cambodian monks barred from 'sexy' water festival

Buddhist monks in Cambodia will be banned from taking part in a water festival this month to prevent undignified behaviour such as mingling with scantily-clad women and seeing couples kissing, the country's chief monk said today.

On The Road: Mini-monks, giant chapatis and terrible tea in north-east India

It's hard to pinpoint the best thing about western Arunachal Pradesh, but it's easy-peasy to put your finger on the worst. Undoubtedly, it's the yak-butter tea. The oily slicks on the tea's surface are disturbing enough, but then a rancid salty taste tinged with decaying leaves causes my throat to constrict on impact. Just two days into my Arunachal journey and I've already imbibed three doses of this in friendly villagers' homes.

Zen and the art of saving the planet

He has set up an eco-friendly village and is a best-selling author. Tomorrow, this green crusader will fill the Hammersmith Apollo with fans. But Thich Nhat Hanh is no rock star – he's a Zen master. Nick Harding meets a monk on a mission

Album: Jonathan Harvey, Speakings (Aeon)

Harvey's three pieces here are based around the notion of instruments simulating not so much the sound as the mannerisms of human voices. "Scena", for instance, features five tableaux in which the violin behaves like a diva.

Many peaceful returns

Buddhist monks yesterday in a procession marking Vesak, or Buddha's birthday, at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

Peter Popham: Shrouded in the faith of centuries

The Catholic Church has never officially endorsed the claims of the Shroud's true believers

The Big Picture: Orange crush

Buddhist monks gather at the Bayon Temple in Cambodia to commemorate Visak Bochea – the day of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

Burma plans crackdown on monks as election nears

Military authorities fear repeat of 2007 when monks led 'Saffron Uprising'

Dalai Lama agrees with Tiger (whoever he is)

The world's most famous golfer should not feel bad that the leader of the religion he promises to re-embrace had never heard of him until now. The good news is that Tiger Woods and the Dalai Lama share similar views on Buddhism and, perhaps more surprisingly, on infidelity.

At long last, a line is drawn against the excesses of celebrity

Tiger Woods offered more than atonement when he faced the world for the first time since his world collapsed beneath the weight of squalid sexual scandal.

Cambodia: A beautiful, haunting and heart-breaking country

The country has a history that is both inspiring and depressing

Vietnamese evicted my flock, says Zen master

Exiled nominee for Nobel Peace Prize accuses Communists of paying mobs to brutalise Buddhist followers
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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