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‘The Silk Roads: A New History of the World’, by Peter Frankopan
A history of the world that emphasises western and central Asia
ft  books  history  review 
3 days ago by robward
Britain is once again the sick man of Europe | Financial Times
If treachery becomes part of the debate, there can only be total victory or total defeat
uk  politics  ft 
5 days ago by robward
Fire in the Cathedral - Rachel Fulton Brown (First Things)
It doesn’t matter how the fire started. The cause of such disasters is
always sin. Perhaps it was the sins of the French, who since the
Revolution have abandoned their ancestral faith. Perhaps it was the
sins of the West, its secular materialism. Perhaps it was the sins of
modernity, the belief in perfectibility and progress. On Monday, as
the world watched, the roof of the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris
burned—and Christians were confronted yet again with the question of
why they build churches, particularly churches dedicated to the Virgin
Mother of God.
There are right and wrong reasons to restore the cathedral. Wrong
reasons include: because it is old; because not to do so would be to
surrender to the barbarians; because the building is an important
tourist attraction. It would be right to mourn if the cathedral were
left in ruins (like the façade was left for some decades in the
nineteenth century after many of its statues were beheaded during the
Revolution). But is it right to argue solely on the basis of beauty,
as if the cathedral were little more than a museum?
Already millions of Euros are being donated, even as some fear what
form the restoration might take. Do we have the skills necessary to
imitate the work of the medieval masons and other artisans? Does
anyone know how to make glass in the right colors, never mind
replicate the medieval designs? It doesn’t matter, at least one
commentator has argued, for we lack the love with which the original
building was built.
...
In the Middle Ages, it wasn’t the building of stone, glass, and wood
that mattered. It was the worship offered therein, which is why, when
cathedrals caught fire—as they regularly did—medieval Christians took
it as an opportunity to develop the skills they needed in order to
rebuild. Nobody prior to the mid-twelfth century had built anything
like the currently standing cathedrals at Paris or Chartres. Nobody
knew how to make such beautiful glass before medieval glaziers learned
the secret of the reds, greens, and blues. If the craftsmen of the
Middle Ages could figure out how to make glass and carve stone, surely
modern Christians can do so again. They have the medieval exemplars on
which to model their work. All they need is the will to praise God.
Mary  Theotokos  NotreDame  Worship  Culture  FT 
5 days ago by mgubbins
The UK teeters on the verge of a Brexit breakdown
The protracted messy departure from the EU is proving bad for people’s mental health
ft  eu  uk  politics  health 
6 days ago by robward
Extinction Rebellion: inside the new climate resistance | Financial Times
A new movement plans mass civil disobedience — and its numbers are growing
ft  environment  society 
11 days ago by robward
Glorious Humility - Wesley Hill (First Things)
But Williams insists on the converse movement too: We should be
equally ready to have our understanding of divine “glory” upended by
Jesus’s meekness and self-giving. Williams points, for example, to St.
Paul’s vision of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Jesus
appeared in a blaze of light with a voice like thunder, but contrary
to what Paul may have expected (did he imagine he was about to suffer
a bolt of divine fury, as when God struck Uzzah dead for daring to
touch the ark of the covenant?), Jesus speaks to underscore his
solidarity with the suffering: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
(Acts 9:4). Williams says of this scene that Jesus “has not removed
himself from the memory of suffering, now that his glorious
resurrection body is beyond pain and death.” Put simply: “The
resurrection undoes nothing of what Jesus has been up to his death;
instead, the resurrection confirms the life of Jesus as the way of God
in the world.”
...
It’s not as though “glory” is a term we all understand and all that’s
left to do is see how Jesus fits himself to its contours, rewriting
our understanding of “humility” in the process. Rather, it’s the
reverse: We look to Jesus—above all, to his self-giving in life and
death—and find our notions of “glory” and “power” transformed
completely. (As a colleague of mine likes to tell our seminarians, if
you think you know in advance what Jesus’s second coming is going to
look like, prepare to be as scandalized as the scribes and Pharisees
were at his first coming.)
FT  Glory  Humility  SecondComing  SaulSaul 
15 days ago by mgubbins
Unpredictable Britain? This is just the start | Financial Times
A UK led by Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson would radically change foreign policy
ft  uk  politics 
16 days ago by robward
The Future of Capitalism, by Paul Collier
A powerful dissection of contemporary failures that dares to suggest concrete reforms
ft  books  review  economics  society 
16 days ago by robward
The UK is now in the worst possible Brexit predicament | Financial Times
Only a momentous act of political will can avert a no-deal exit from the EU
ft  eu  politics  uk 
22 days ago by robward
Brexit tests the British constitution | Financial Times
As parliament holds more indicative votes, questions of fundamental principle are hard to avoid
ft  eu  uk  politics 
22 days ago by robward

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