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.
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Friday 07 March 2008
Sunday 02 March 2008
Why is Venice a fish? "Just look at it on a map," writes Tiziano Scarpa. "It's like a vast sole stretched out against the deep." Other cultural histories talk about the birth of a city in terms of military or commercial success, but to Scarpa such determinism is "poppycock" – and perhaps that's just the translator being polite. Scarpa's approach is from the soul, not the mind. (Or does he simply possess a soulful mind that acknowledges the importance of dreams and dreaminess?) One moment you're being told of a novel by Bohumil Hrabal about a child who's obsessed with nails, constantly hammering them into the floor ("Venice is made just like that; except that the nails are made not of iron but of wood, and they're enormous, between two and 10 metres in length"), the next Venice becomes a tortoise, "its stone shell is made of grey trachite boulders... which pave the streets".
Saturday 01 March 2008
As war experience changed perceptions of how to work for peace, the poet Sidney Keyes wrote: "I am the man who looked for peace and found my own eyes barbed." John Yates, unlike Keyes, returned from service in the Second World War and was able to give himself to a peaceful ministry. But though gentle, humorous and relaxed about himself and the Church of England, in which he was a bishop for 22 years, it felt as if his time in RAF aircrews had given him a sense of urgent reality – hence his challenging of boring religiosity, his willingness to enable unpopular reforms and his hopes that all the churches would change so that they could contribute to God's peace.
Sunday 27 January 2008
Thursday 24 January 2008
Friday 18 January 2008
Wednesday 09 January 2008
Tuesday 08 January 2008
Tuesday 13 February 2007
MyTravel cemented its recovery from the ashes of Airtours yesterday with a £2.8bn deal to merge with its European arch rival Thomas Cook.
Saturday 20 May 2006
A chill wind blew across the County Ground yesterday, and it had nothing to do with the squally weather which curtailed the final session.
Saturday 20 May 2006
Sunday 26 February 2006
Friday 14 October 2005
Tuesday 16 August 2005
Tuesday 26 July 2005
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
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- 4 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop