Category: Blog

Celtic Christianity and nature

Anxiety about the natural world is high and with good reason. Surprisingly, perhaps, the earliest days of Christianity in the British Isles have something vital to teach us. In this new episode of The Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and I

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What Tolkien learnt from Owen Barfield

The biopic, Tolkien, opens this weekend. It doesn’t look like it gets to what I think was a key inspiration for the great author, namely the thought of his fellow Inkling, Owen Barfield. I’d wager that The Lord of the

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What I believe

This interview with Dan Koch at You Have Permission turned into something close to a What I Believe-type discussion.

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Three ways to contemplate life and death

Three ways to contemplate that life may be bigger than death. (They’re not proofs but hinting analogies which Plato argued have an advantage over proofs: they can expand your sense of reality whilst indicating their truths, rather than just dotting

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Dante’s meaning of the cross

In paradise, the Cross is explained to Dante in a way not heard in churches. It’s not how God restores life, but rather was required by human notions of justice – penalty, payment, etc. It was not for God’s sake,

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Dying and rising: “I tell you a mystery!”

The Idler has published the text of my BBC Radio 4 Lent Talk on doubting Thomas. Uncertainties in life are generally felt to be something to reduce, if not cut out. People try to ease their personal doubts and worries,

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Who was Jesus, and other questions

I’m making some short films to get the ideas of Owen Barfield circulating in the run-up to the publication of my book, A Secret History of Christianity. The full set are online here. They cover questions including who was Owen

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Lecture on the evolution of consciousness and Owen Barfield

It’s been noted that the human experience of life has changed over time, and that during an “axial age”, in the middle of the first millennium BCE, a consciousness that is akin to our own first began to emerge. It’s

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Confronting a crisis the idle way

This piece was written for The Idler magazine. One of things that happens when countries, organisations and individuals fall into crisis is that they lose the power to imagine how things can be different. They feel that there’s no happy

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Psychedelics: Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue 46

Rupert Sheldrake and I have published the latest in our discussions, on psychedelics. Many people today seek an expansion of mind with them. So what other worlds, intelligences and entities are being encountered and sought in such experiences? We focus

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