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.

What they don't teach at Sunday school: the joy of Old Testament sex

A new study is set to cause a storm by focusing on the Bible's treatment of sexual matters. Andy McSmith looks into the row – and revisits some of the good book's steamier episodes

Paperback: Venice Is a Fish: A cultural guide, By Tiziano Scarpatrs Shaun Whiteside

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".

The Right Rev John Yates: Reforming Bishop of Gloucester

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.

Boethius: Fortune's Prisoner, trs James Harpur

Anvil £8.95

Last Night's TV: The Devil has got all the best goons

Reaper, E4; Wonderland, BBC2

Jesus Christ: The Gospels, Presented by Terry Eagleton

When a Marxist meets the Messiah

Fire and brimstone! College principal says we're all going to hell

A theological college is riven by a bitter religious discrimination case. No wonder the principal says we're all going to hell. By Andy McSmith

Paperback: My Tango with Barbara Strozzi, By Russell Hoban

Bloomsbury £10.99

First Choice left out in cold as Thomas Cook clinches MyTravel deal

MyTravel cemented its recovery from the ashes of Airtours yesterday with a £2.8bn deal to merge with its European arch rival Thomas Cook.

Sri Lanka 521-5 dec Sussex 40-1: Kapugedera breezes to century before storm spares Sussex

A chill wind blew across the County Ground yesterday, and it had nothing to do with the squally weather which curtailed the final session.

Jersey Royal and Arbroath smokie salad

Serves 4

The Grand Inquisitor, Pit, London

Come on man, spit it out. You're here to entertain us!

Karen Armstrong: 'All the major traditions adopted the theology of non-violence'

From the Hibbert Trust Lecture, delivered by the writer and broadcaster to the Royal Society of Arts, in London
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing