Category: Books

Recent Books in Brief

The Best of Benedict; An Irish Perspective edited by Dualta Roughneen (One by One Press/Alive Newspaper, available from Knock Shrine Bookshop and Mayo Books, €12.99 plus postage) This is not, as the title might at first suggest, an anthology of the writings of the Pope emeritus. These now span many decades of theological investigation and social comment,…

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A word in season

Easter was never ‘a normal day’. Over the years in these pages we have often stressed the need to use words properly as an aid to clear thinking and so to a better understanding of things. Over recent days I have been struck by the way so many people speak of longing for ‘a normal…

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The history of the Church as told by its churches

A History of the Church through its Buildings by Alan Doig (Oxford University Press, £30.00) This is an unusual book by an author with unusual talents. Alan Doig studied architecture at King’s College Cambridge, later completing a doctorate in the same field. Having taught history of art for some seven years he was ordained into the Church…

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A noble family and the fall of the British Empire

Fortune’s Many Houses: A Victorian Visionary, a Noble Scottish Family, and a Lost inheritance by Simon Welfare (Simon & Schuster, £25.00) Here in Ireland for many people in the early 20th century (and some even now) the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen were figures of folklore among many nationalists, as both Lord Lieutenant Johnny Gordon and…

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Robert Hugh Benson: convert, priest and novelist

Lord of the World, a novel by Robert Hugh Benson (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, $15.95/£10.99) In January 2015 during an in-flight interview from Manila to Rome, Pope Francis referred to the ‘ideological colonisation’ of international family-planning agencies and national governments that impose population control as a condition of development aid. The reporter asked what he…

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