Category: Reviews

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?…

New insights on medieval wisdom

Curing Mad Truths: Medieval Wisdom for the modern age by Remi Brague (University of Notre Dame Press, $29.00 / £35.50) Frank Litton   Critical thinking is important, we all agree. Of course, the appetite for it is never going to be strong. Most of us want instruction in what the fashionable are thinking. We are as…

The myth of the decisive victory

Battles that Changed History: Epic conflicts explored and explained by Phillip Parker, R.G. Grant & Andrew Humphreys, foreword by Sir Tony Robinson (Dorling Kindersley, £20.00) There is something deep in the male psyche that loves wars and tales of wars. Women with their very different view of the world are generally unmoved by tales of war,…