Category: Reviews

The smouldering issue at the heart of Northern politics

Burned: The inside story of the ‘cash for ash’ scandal and Northern Ireland’s secretive new elite by Sam McBride (Merrion Press, €19.95)   The scandal of Northern Ireland’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is one of bureaucratic failure, sloppy political oversight, and culpable procrastination, all leading to a colossal waste of public money. This book will…

Reports of God’s death much exaggerated

Has Science Killed God? Faraday Papers on Science and Religion edited by Denis Alexander (SPCK, £19.99)   Christopher
 Moriarty   This is a truly amazing book. Written by a team of eminent scientists, who are also believers in the reality of the spiritual, it provides a great deal of comfort to people of faith who…

Bad news continues to drive the agenda

As we ease into the early days of 2020, with threats of global conflict and environmental disaster prominent in news and current affairs coverage so far, anything that gives us well-grounded hope is welcome. But good news doesn’t tend to get much prominence. The dilemmas and paradoxes surrounding these issues were aired in a leisurely…

Little Women leads the way into a bright new decade

Cinemas usually experience the celluloid equivalent of haemophilia at this time of year, either due to ritualistic hibernation, post-festive lethargy and/or the sedentary hangover of a Yuletide addiction to television. To draw patrons away from the sofas to which they seem to become almost surgically attached over the 12 days of Christmas – if not…

Exploring Kierkegaard’s faith and feelings

Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle (Allen Lane, £25.00) Patrick
 Claffey
   This exploration of the tortured mind and faith of Kierkegaard is a challenging title with which to begin a fresh year of reading. Clare Carlisle opens her preface to this book on the philosopher with a reference…

Make yourself a free person

Personal Struggle: Oppression, healing and liberation by Dr Seán Ruth (Atrium / Cork University Press, €14.95) The title may, for some, carry echoes of the 1970s. But in a sense the problems identified then by theologians and social activists have not gone away. They have got worse in many respects (especially in Latin American). Worse the…

Music world will long remember Mawby and Cleobury

A happy and celebratory New Year as we remember Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. Born in Bonn in December 1770, he was the second son of court musician Johann and his wife Maria Magdalena. Somewhat harsh and severe, Johann was Ludwig’s first teacher. The composer’s mother was a quiet and serious person and Beethoven was very fond…