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

Gere serves up a haven for vegetarians

Actor and Buddhist activist backs campaign to make Indian town a meat-free zone

Banned Buddhist monks on the run from police

Followers of a famous Buddhist monk have abandoned the temple in southern Vietnam where they had sought sanctuary and are on the run from police.

Independent Appeal: Sri Lanka's bitter enemies learn to live in harmony

After years of conflict, warring factions now come together in search of solutions, reports Andrew Buncombe from Polonnaruwa

On The Road: The hitch-hiker's guide to an elusive Spanish monastery

"Everybody hitchhikes in Orgiva," Sophia said matter-of-factly, before dropping me off. Not wanting to seem ungrateful to my Austrian host, I restrain my horror-movie imagination and put my faith in humanity for once.

British 'Indiana Jones' finds missing legs of 900-year-old Buddhist statue

It sounds like the plot of an Indiana Jones movie: an archaeology professor with little more to go on than a yellowing photograph discovers part of a 900-year-old statue deep in the Cambodian jungle, rewriting history in the process.

How the happy kingdom in the clouds lost its smile

Bhutan has made its people's happiness a national priority. But a spate of suicides suggests it is struggling to cope with the modern world

Historical general election looms in the east

If you want Japan to become a theocracy, launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, and rearm for war with China, then... Vote Happiness

A Fraction of the Whole, By Steve Toltz

Henry James described the novel as a loose, baggy monster – and they don't come much looser, baggier or more monstrous than this.

On The Road: Break for a Buddhist retreat in Beara

Today my mother and I find solace in enormous views of the Atlantic Ocean from the floor-to-ceiling windows of a cottage at Dzogchen Beara. This Tibetan Buddhist retreat is perched on magnificent cliffs on the Beara Peninsula, and our drive here around the lovely coastline from Bantry was continuously lit by sunshine. It calmed my mother, who was full of trepidation at her first visit to a Buddhist retreat. Now, we are struck by the vista, letting our conversations trail into nowhere as it catches our attention mid-sentence.

Buddha Da, By Anne Donovan

An engaging account of a Glasgow father's unpopular conversion to Buddhism, Buddha Da recalls the early stories of Roddy Doyle in its affectionate portrait of a normal family life running up against the ridiculous.

Being Emily, By Anne Donovan

In her mother's absence, an overwhelming weight hangs over the house where the sixth-former Fiona is charged with caring for her younger twin sisters and their depressed father. Fiona seeks comfort in fantasies about the life of her heroine, Emily Brontë, and there are many intriguing lines of reference between Wuthering Heights and Being Emily, from a dead mother to a devastating romance. Fiona develops a relationship with the pensive Jas, a Sikh boy who is also something of an outsider and knows about grief. But, on meeting Jas's elder brother, the enchanting musician Amrik, Fiona feels a splinter of ice in her heart toward Jas and a spark of attraction for Amrik.

The origins of Darwin's theory: It may have evolved in Tibet

Charles Darwin has been accused of many things – but never before of being a closet Tibetan Buddhist.

Monlam's colourful enlightenment

Taking place on the 4th-11th day of the first Tibetan Lunar month, Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival, is one of the most important festivals in Tibetan Buddhism. Pictures of this year's festival display the spectacular processions and colourful outfits of Tibet's Buddhist monks.

Tea and sympathy in the heart of Sri Lanka

On a journey to the heart of the troubled nation of Sri Lanka, Sophie Lam finds serenity amid ornate temples, ancient reservoirs and fields of emerald green
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice