… the publication of How To Be An Agnostic. ‘Mark Vernon – a former Anglican priest who left the church only to find dogmatic unbelief just as unsatisfying – shows how being an agnostic can be a modern version of the spiritual life. If you are discontented with simple-minded atheism and literal-minded faith, this is… Continue reading A couple of weeks away…
The anti-alternative voters kick off by saying that AV is complicated, it lacks the democratic drama of first-past-the-post, and it’s no fairer anyway, as it’s still a majoritarian system, not a proportional one. The pro-alternative voters argue that it’s not a perfect system, granted, but it will encourage prospective MPs to engage with more citizens… Continue reading As the campaign for AV gets underway…
The debate about the differences, if any, between gay and straight relationships is a tricky one to conduct as it is so intertwined with feelings about the Christian legacy in a secular world. So perhaps we can take a step back, to a time before the secular, to a time before Christianity, and see what… Continue reading Gay marriage. What would Plato say?
The hodgepodge free-for-all approach to civil partnerships and gay marriage advocated by the campaigners, and now apparently the government – each couple, gay or straight, may pick-their-own – leaves me wary. This is an uncomfortable feeling as, whilst I’m not against gay marriage in principle, it might seem to put me on the conservative as… Continue reading Male and female He created them
I just did a Wordle of How To Be An Agnostic (out next month). The shape that came back looked suspiciously like a fish. Is someone trying to tell me something?
The archbishop of York’s presidential address to the Synod has the wrong emphasis, it seems to me – though I’m hardly qualified to comment, as someone who is only indirectly connected to the Church of England, and so has little right to comment on what it should be doing into the future. Then again, that… Continue reading John Sentamu and the church's USP
I suspect it is virtually heresy to say so in some circles. But I found the memoir of theologian Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child, odd. It’s certainly engaging, and I wanted to read it as I know Hauerwas is inspirational for some whom I admire. So I’ve been trying to work out why it feels as… Continue reading What it is to be a Christian
My PhD thesis was a reading of Plato’s Lysis, the great philosopher’s exploration of friendship. And so it was exciting, to me at least, to yesterday read Martha Beck’s book, The Quest for Wisdom in Plato and Jung, and realise that the dialogue could be read in a parallel way to how I’d done, namely… Continue reading Interpreting Plato's Lysis
A Manchester historian has cracked the ‘Plato code.’ Writing in the journal Apeiron, and using stichometry, Jay Kennedy has apparently shown that the Republic is ordered by twelfths, following the 12-note scale, and that at each of these nodes, are located either consonant or dissonant ideas. The line numbers of the reassembled manuscripts of other… Continue reading Wanna crack the Plato code? Read Plato
One of the most striking details to read in Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary for me, concerned the nature of the relationship between the two hemispheres of the brain. The exchange between them is essentially negative. Both can either fail to permit, by saying ‘no’, or permit, by not saying ‘no’, what the… Continue reading The brain's negative way