saint peter s basilica

Saint or sinner? The Sins of G. K. Chesterton by Richard Ingrams

Review by Jon Elsby Some years ago, a slim, paperback volume entitled The Holiness of G. K. Chesterton appeared. It was a collection of essays by various Roman Catholic academics who shared the (still somewhat eccentric) view that Chesterton should be canonized. Now, we have a book by Richard Ingrams – best known as the […]

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saint peter s basilica

Intrigues and Machinations: Conclave by Robert Harris

Review by Jon Elsby Assessing Robert Harris’s1 Conclave is not only a question of style. Also singled out are the quality of the dialogue, the architecture of the narrative, the balance between different sections, the sharpness of the characterization, the economy and precision of the descriptive writing, the ability unerringly to choose the telling concrete […]

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The Certainty of George Weigel

by Jon Elsby 1 George Weigel is a controversial figure. A Catholic intellectual and a political and cultural conservative of a distinctively American kind, he is greatly admired by those who share his convictions and severely criticized by those who do not, including some of his co-religionists. But reactions to Weigel are rarely mild. For […]

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The philosophy of Iris Murdoch

by Jon Elsby During her lifetime, Iris Murdoch was probably better known – and more highly esteemed – as a novelist than as a philosopher. Privately, Isaiah Berlin once called her ‘a lady not noted for the clarity of her ideas’.’ Yet she taught philosophy at St Anne’s College, Oxford for several years, and, since […]

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The Blairs, Catholicism, and New Labour

by Garry O’Connor The word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin religare, meaning ‘to bind back’, and in the present climate, in a society awash with an ‘all-pervasive claim to victimhood’, and the escalating fear and often reality of violence, a ‘binding back’ in multiple ways, not least culturally, is needed. While the No. 10 press […]

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