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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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?