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Reviews >


The meaning of life

HUMAN beings are constantly in search of meaning, especially those whose job it is to pitch ideas to commissioning editors at the BBC. The condition has a name: pareidolia; and it explains why people believe Elvis is still alive and living in an isolated studio lot, alongside all that faked moon-lan...

Low-quality work

ON AN occasion which is usually fuelled by the most indulgent and hyperbolic rhetoric, David McCullough’s graduation speech to the Class of 2012 at a Boston high school must have seemed especially bracing: “You are not special. You are not exceptional"

Godless gathering

IT MIGHT have been pure happen­stance; or perhaps it was a carefully planned, if understated, moment of irony. But, as Mark Vernon’s doc­umentary on the Sun­day As­­sembly (SA) movement, Swap­ping Psalms for Pop Songs (Radio 4, Friday), came to a close, I could have sworn I heard the congre­gation chanting “I want to be like you” from Disney’s The Jungle Book

Summon the 14th

THOSE of us who have been trained in US politics courtesy of The West Wing reckon we know a thing or two about the technicalities of cau­cuses, log-rolling, and stare decisis. But even we will have found in The Battle for the US Constitution (Radio 4, Tuesday of last week) a rich source of new polit...

Parent substitute

IT IS one of the details of a nanny’s life that they left out of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee. If you want to keep your diary secret from the prying eyes of your employer, then invest in some invisible ink

Comic censorship

IN A list compiled by the Amer­ican Library Association of the top ten books most complained about last year, the Bible made it to number six. It is a relief that Fifty Shades of Grey was ranked second, but bewildering to see that Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time...

Sensible giving

IF THERE is anybody out there thinking of a sensational way to raise money for charity, you might first like to do a proper cost-benefit analysis. Take all those foolhardy sky-divers who throw themselves out of a plane for the benefit of their dearest cause. A recent study, quoted in Analysis: The c...

Punch of language

EVEN among the more temperate mem­bers of the social-media com­munity, there has been an outbreak of immoderate language after last week’s referendum result

A word in private

WE ALL carry them around with us: good voices, bad voices, the sensible, the impish. In cartoons, they are embodied as angels and demons, sitting on opposite shoul­ders, whispering contrary advice; but to only a few of us do these voices seem as if they are coming from a source other than our own internalised talking-shop

Mysterious forces

TO THOSE of us who still regard wireless telephony as a kind of benign voodoo, the response of late-19th-century spiritualists to technological advance seems perfectly appropriate


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14th Sunday after Trinity

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Top feature

Where the track leads from Rio

Where the track leads from Rio

As the Olympic participants head home from Rio, Nick Watson explores the growing relationship between sport and the Churches  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

A Broadway guide to the narrow way

Christians could learn much from a revolutionary musical sensation, argues Rachel Mann  Subscribe to read more

Wed 31 Aug 16 @ 20:49
Diocese of St Albans offers advice on writing gender-neutral job ads

Wed 31 Aug 16 @ 19:08
NEW: Disgust with C of E’s ‘slide’ on Tunbridge Wells agenda