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.

Letters: Menezes affair

Only Boris emerges with honour from Menezes affair

My Book Of A lifetime: Alone of All Her Sex, By Marina Warner

I was in my gap year when I read Alone of All Her Sex. Until then religion for me had been arguments about whether doctrine or belief were "true", and a sense that humans couldn't help being religious, but were growing out of it.

A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven, By Karl O Knausgaard

This theological fantasy is a heavenly delight

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/by-john-rento-7.html">John Rentoul: The Godbotherer vote</a>

Alarming stuff for us heathens in a ComRes opinion poll for Theos, the "public theology think tank". It would seem that 20 per cent of the Great British public would not vote for an atheist as prime minister.

Why There Almost Certainly Is a God, By Keith Ward

There is a running joke in the forums at RichardDawkins.net about "fleas", which is what the site's contributors call the spreading rash of books that have been published in refutation of Dawkins' bestseller The God Delusion. It isn't an officially endorsed term, but was inspired by a comment that Dawkins made about two books with his name in the title by the Oxford theologian Alister McGrath: "It is tempting to quote Yeats ('Was there ever a dog that praised its fleas?') and leave it at that..." While poorly argued and badly written books undeniably number among these "fleas", there are others containing nimble logic and thoughtful prose which even hard-line atheists should still find it rewarding to engage with – if only they would. One such is the latest missive in the Oxford God debate, Why There Almost Certainly Is a God (named, with one small change of wording, after chapter four of The God Delusion), by the university's former Regius Professor of Divinity, Keith Ward.

Last Night's TV: Lost In Austen, ITV1<br />God On Trial, BBC2

Jane's world left me open to persuasion

Muslim panel to advise on rights and wrongs of veil

The wearing of the Islamic veil will be one of the issues examined by a panel of Islamic experts that is being set up by the Government.

Paul Vallely: Why the Pope is not rejoicing at the split

The Pope might be expected, privately, to be rejoicing at the splits in Anglicanism. He might be expected to issue an open invitation for disgruntled Anglicans to join the Church of Rome. Instead, he is trying to bolster the beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Rev Professor Christopher Stead: Scholar of patristic thought who was the last Ely Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University

Christopher Stead, former Ely Professor of Divinity, was one of the last living links with Cambridge and Cambridge philosophers of the 1930s. He was born into a family with strong educational and academic connections, his father with Marlborough College, where Christopher was educated, and his mother with Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. From Marlborough, Christopher Stead went to Cambridge as a classical scholar at King's where in his second year (1934) he had the distinction of being made Pitt Scholar. His principal academic interest was in philosophy and so it was a natural move for him to read Part Two of the Moral Sciences Tripos, as the discipline was then known.

The Rev Professor Henry Chadwick: Historian of the early Church who held the Regius Chairs of Divinity at both Oxford and Cambridge

Henry Chadwick was a dazzling star in the academic firmament. His career was shared between Cambridge and Oxford, and he acquired the unusual distinction of holding the Regius Chairs of Divinity at both Cambridge and Oxford, as well as being head of house in both universities (Christ Church and Peterhouse). In the course of his life he was loaded with honours – prizes and honorary doctorates – and became a corresponding member of learned societies in many countries, as well as a Fellow of the British Academy (and one-time Vice-President).

'Lyrical terrorist' wins appeal

The woman who called herself the "lyrical terrorist" won her appeal today against conviction for collecting information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Planet Narnia, By Michael Ward

Were the seven Narnia Chronicles based on the seven planets of medieval cosmology? It's a fascinating thesis
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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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on