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Towards the end of this illuminating book, Larry Siedentop describes a fourteenth century battle between two Christian monastic orders. The Dominicans and the Franciscans were mendicant orders, begging monks who had abandoned the comforts of the cloisters to preach among the poor.

Canon David Isitt: Pioneering priest in the fields of counselling, ecumenism and theological education

A classic Anglican combination of the radical and the traditional, Canon David Isitt was a highly imaginative clergyman who graced cathedral and college chapel life with a kindness that was energising, a voice instantly engaging and sparing words that were always teasingly memorable. By a measured assessment of his considerable gifts – he forsook the highest offices in the Church of England – he left a transforming legacy in a 55-year ministry of unusual distinction.

Islamic scholar hits out over sacking

Dutch authorities fire Swiss intellectual and TV anchor over links to Iran

Episcopal Church moves toward blessing gay unions

The US Episcopal Church gave its clergy the go-ahead on yesterday to bless some same-sex unions, such as civil partnerships in states that legally recognise them, setting the stage for further conflict with the wider Anglican world.

Downing Street signals u-turn in Iraq war inquiry row

Downing Street today appeared to open the way for some hearings in the Iraq War inquiry to be held in public.

The first sister of feminism

She threw off her habit and put women on the stage. Simon Caldwell tells the tale of the feisty nun set to become a saint

Melanie McDonagh: The meanie justifies the 'envy'

The great thinkers would be unimpressed by Anthony Steen's claim that we are jealous of his large house

Religulous (15)

Amish man jailed over toilet theology

A western Pennsylvania Amish farmer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after refusing to bring a pair of outhouses into compliance with state sewage laws.

The Reverend Canon John Fenton: Gregarious priest, teacher and scholar of the New Testament

John Fenton, Biblical scholar and teacher and a Canon of Christ Church, Oxford from 1978 to 1991, was an unusual human being. Big and well-built, he exuded cordiality and goodwill. He was often to be heard laughing uproariously, sometimes at a slightly risqué joke of his own telling. He was eminently what Dr Johnson called a "clubbable" man.

The Holy City, By Patrick McCabe

A more than usually crazy McCabe character hallucinates nine-inch Lulus and fears eggs

Catholics ordered to keep quiet over Virgin visions

Catholics who claim they have seen the Virgin Mary will be forced to remain silent about the apparitions until a team of psychologists, theologians, priests and exorcists have fully investigated their claims under new Vatican guidelines aimed at stamping out false claims of miracles.

AD 381, By Charles Freeman

This was the year that a belief in the Holy Trinity was made obligatory for all subjects of the eastern Roman empire. Freeman's exploration of the "swansong of free speech" makes distant events intensely relevant.

Opt-out for parishioners opposed to women bishops

Church of England proposes compromise to avoid acrimonious split

Paul Vallely: Theological point that was lost in translation

The idea the Pope was 'gay-bashing' to celebrate Christmas is seriously ill-informed

Neil Gaiman: Hanukkah with bells on

I do not recall lobbying for anything, as a boy, as hard as I lobbied, with my sisters, for a Christmas tree.

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