Arts and Entertainment

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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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project