Category: Reviews

The madness of our times

Well, I think Mad World has to be my theme song this week. Maybe there’s nothing new under the sun, but previous generations would surely be mystified by some of last week’s goings on. One of the high-profile events of the week was a US presidential debate where an oldish guy, a convicted felon, debated…

Where to find spiritual strength in troubled days

Fully alive: Tending to the Soul in Turbulent Times, by Elizabeth Oldfield (London: Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99 / €26.99)   Elizabeth Oldfield directed the London based ‘think-tank’, Theos from 2011 to 2022. Established in 2006 with the support of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor,  the then Archbishop of Westminster and the then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Theos researches issues…

Never give way to despair – even in Ulster

Keeping the Faith, by Alf McCreary (Messenger Publications, €14.95 / £12.95)    This is a sombre and sobering book, one dealing with the Northern situation that could have driven a saint to despair, but it is also a book that carries a final message to never despair, however appalling and inhuman the situation. Alf McCreary tells…

Searching for a deeper understanding

We don’t like to talk too much about death. It’s the ultimate elephant in the room – inevitable and ignored for as long as possible, while we use euphemism to whistle past the graveyard. On The Moral Maze (BBC Radio 4, Wednesday), many of the issues surrounding death were literally interrogated as the panel quizzed…

The Yeats Sisters

The Yeats Sisters and Irish Design: Making, Identities & Legacies An exhibition in the Long Room of the Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin   Currently mounted in the Long Room of the Library at Trinity College is an exhibition on the life and work of the Yeats Sisters, which draws on the immense collection of…

A matter of words

I have felt for a long time that the Church needs to get its act together on same-sex attraction. There have been too many own goals, too many myths, too many misunderstandings. I’d suggest what is needed is clear, orthodox and challenging teaching expressed and effected in the most modern, empathic, compassionate and pastoral way…

The various Joyces of  North Richmond Street

Araby House: James Joyce and all the neighbours on North Richmond Street, Dublin 1820-1998, by Michael Quinn (The James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin,  €15.00)   The month of June has in recent decades become dedicated to Mr James Joyce. But there are odd overlooked aspects of Joycean Dublin. Many Joycean writers…