Joe Bageant on the United States

A friend who borrowed from a library a new book of essays by the American writer Joe Bageant (Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball, 2011) was so impressed that she passed it on to me before returning it, and it’s indeed very interesting. Bageant is not only a socialist capable of discussing class in a way few Americans do but he writes as a […]

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Christopher B. Kreb’s A Most Dangerous Book Tacitus’ Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich (2011)

At the end of the first century AD the Roman historian Tacitus wrote a work describing people he refers to as Germans. In contrast to the Romans, these people emerge from Tacitus as a hardy and vigorous folk who had preserved their purity of blood, being free of any taint from inter-marriage. Such a portrayal was congenial to later Germans (who may have had little in […]

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Stephen Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’ (2011)

This is a book with a heartening argument: as time passes, humans are becoming less violent. Beginning with statistics that seem to show that fewer people are being killed in warfare, Pinker goes on to examine the decline in capital punishment and slavery, and the various recent movements for civil, women’s, homosexual and animal rights.  If this were not enough to […]

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Scripture and Liturgy

In determining what the Church believes, Scripture has a kind of priority over Liturgy, but it can be tricky getting a handle on just what this involves. For a start, it is worth remembering that the Church was worshipping liturgically before the New Testament came into being. ‘The prayers’ are among the things the earliest converts continued in (Acts 2:42; note the definite […]

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