Category: Reviews

How Christianity brought us the secular

The Innocence of Pontius Pilate. How the Roman trial of Jesus shaped history by David Lloyd Dusenbury (Hurst and Company, £25.00/€30.00) Frank Litton Stories we are told can win or lose wars. The Taliban’s story — David vs Goliath in a ‘holy’ war — proved more telling than the United States’ and its allies’ story of a nation…

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Seekers after spiritual truth

Voices from the Desert. The Lost Legacy of the Skelligs by Hugh MacMahon (Columba Books. €14.99/£12.99) Skellig Michael is one of the most famous heritage sites in Ireland, which the Office of Public Works has made great effort to render more accessible to visitors. Having appeared in one of the segments of the Star Wars series…

Strong women from all walks of life

This seems to be women’s month. Annette is a musical romance about a couple who have a ‘puppet’ daughter with an unusual gift – she can sing in her mother’s voice. Rose Plays Julie has a veterinary student looking for the mother who put her up for adoption years ago. Gunpowder Milkshake features three generations…

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When corporations rule, democracy suffers

Last week I mentioned near death experiences in the context of Joe Duffy’s interview with Jane Seymour. I never know what to make of these accounts – are they hallucinations resulting from medication or real glimpses of the afterlife? Calls That item prompted calls to Liveline (RTÉ Radio One, Tuesday) from listeners who had similar…

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The Phoenix Park Murders recalled

The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Murders that Stunned an Empire by Julie Kavanagh (Grove Press, £18.99) The Queen v. Patrick O’Donnell: The Man who Shot the Informer James Carey by Seán Ó Cuirreáin (Four Courts Press, €17.95) Felix M. Larkin When Lord Frederick Cavendish was killed by the Invincibles in the Phoenix Park…

Finally…things are starting to look up

Well, as Ira Gershwin, brother of George, said, “Things are looking up”, to which I will add “Praise, the Lord” as the National Concert Hall welcomes back its audiences. Commemorating its 40th anniversary, the NCH, which opened as the country’s principal concert venue on September 9, 1981 (I was there), presented a less demanding, but…