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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...