A Blog for all seasons

28 February
2019

Newman’s Age

In the coming year Pope Francis seems now likely to canonise the English Cardinal, John Henry Newman, completing a first step taken by Pope Benedict XVI who beatified him (declared him ‘Blessed’) in 2010. The Pope Emeritus has often referred to Newman in the same vein as his fellow-countryman St. Thomas More as figures who, […]

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30 January
2019

Remembering History

Posted in Uncategorized

This week has been one marked by many for recall of Holocaust Memorial Day. Acts of collective remembrance do play powerful roles in a nation’s psyche. Remembering historical events faces the challenge of stirring a continuous relevance, as memories fade with each passing generation and perceptions – however slowly – change. Yet Holocaust Memorial Day […]

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9 January
2019

Schumacher and Subsidiarity

In our current malaise(s) it is worth musing on the work of the great German-born economist E.F. Schumacher (1911–1977). Schumacher brought the social teaching of the Catholic Church, in the form of the worked theories of subsidiarity and distributism, back to the forefront of economic debate. His legacy emphasises the Christian truth that ‘the substance […]

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10 December
2018

Revolution in Work

A current exhibition at Tate Britain brings together major works from across the career of Edward Burne-Jones. The exhibition includes stained glass, tapestries, sketches and some of his widely-admired paintings. Firmly in the tradition of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Burne-Jones sought inspiration from medieval and classical ideals and forms. In this project, Burne-Jones was committed to […]

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12 November
2018

Is there Anything to be Said for Disruption and Chaos?

Today’s age, it is often theorised, is undergoing continuous upheaval. In every sphere of life, we are told, life will dramatically change. In economic matters, the outbreak of global trade wars and the threat of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the workplace are seen as dangers to the world as we know it. Politically speaking, recent […]

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17 October
2018

A Diminished US Supreme Court

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court seems to highlight the intense politicisation of every facet of American public and institutional life. The nation remains fiercely divided along strict party lines, with rare exceptions, over the nomination of a formerly well-regarded circuit judge. A UK perspective may provide some worthwhile insight. Here […]

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24 May
2018

What’s the Point of Veganism?

Posted in Environment, Ethics

Veganism is apparently the fastest growing ‘lifestyle movement’ in the UK today. Within the space of a decade the number of British vegans has increased by 350% and now over half a million people follow a diet free of animal products. Whilst this is still only about 1% of the adult population, the accelerating growth […]

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8 May
2018

The Scandal of a System

Jürgen Habermas draws a central distinction between our ‘lifeworld’ and ‘systems-world’. The lifeworld is said to be rooted in society’s collective subjective perception, its shared values and influences, as opposed to fully-rationalized systems which favour the quantifiable realm of ‘efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control’. Habermas proceeds to argue that the crisis of modernity is rooted […]

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