Category: Reviews

Emotional words mark Fr Tony’s memory

With all the fractious controversies raging over Brexit, I like to listen to all sides of the debate, and there are certainly more than two! For the most part Irish commentary tends to range from mildly anti-Brexit to regarding those who voted to leave as stupid. But there are exceptions and we got relatively balanced…

Fighting on 
the right side

“May have been the losing side,” says Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the cult sci-fi show Firefly about his part in a recent civil war. “Still not convinced it was the wrong one.” Over a year on from 2018’s referendum on repealing Ireland’s constitutional protections for unborn human beings, it’s clear that for many of those…

Wartime thoughts on Christian civilisation

The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis by Alan Jacobs (Oxford University Press, £20.00) Frank
 Litton   “Every age has its own outlook. It is generally good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes.” We, therefore, need books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our…

What’s to become of the world, at all?

Cad Fúinne, Mar Sin?/ 
What of us, then?  by Colm Ó Tórna (Foilsithe ag Teangscéal/ Áisínteacht Dáilúcháin Leabhar, €10.00/€13.50 post paid; from An Siopa Leabhar, 6 Sráid Fhearchair, Dublin 2; email: siopa@cnag.ie) At the outset the author provides a depressing, albeit accurate, description of the prevailing culture.  He states that its true nature was revealed in…

Christians in Ireland before Patrick

Mainly About Books by the books editor   St Patrick is seen by many as the Apostle of Ireland – “the man who brought Christianity to or ancestors”. But one has to wonder: the process seems to have been so smooth, so easy, so without conflict, one has to ask was this the beginning of…

Recent books in brief

So Everyone Can Hear: Communicating Church in a Digital Culture by Mark Crosby (SPCK, £9.99) These days the Sunday homilies, with the occasional pastoral letter from an archbishop or bishop, are not quite enough. With the clamour for attention online the need for all the churches to make their message heard in the din of current…

The magnificent Paula Murrihy continues to thrill

Ask anyone to name a few Mozart operas and they will, most likely, respond correctly with The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. There are of course several others not least Idomeneo, first produced in Munich on January 28, 1781. It had considerable success then and remains a marvellous, if overshadowed, piece.…

Sun, sea and a special vision of Spain

Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, an exhibition Beit Wing (Rooms 6-10), National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square Dublin 2 Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light by Gabriele Finaldi and others, published to accompany the exhibition (National Gallery Company London /distributed by Yale University Press, £30.00/€35.00)   This exhibition is the first ever mounted in Ireland, so…

What can science actually tell us about the human soul?

Are we Bodies or Souls? by Richard Swinburne (Oxford University Press, £14.99) Christopher Moriarty   The author, Emeritus Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, has an impressive number of previous titles. Like this one, some end with question marks and include Is There a God? and Was Jesus God?…