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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering