New Post
Blog: Justluckie
The Scottish Episcopal Church, to which I belong, is engaging in a process of conversations around same-sex relationships, with a particular focus on the forthcoming debates we will have about permitting clergy of our church to solemnise marriages between people of the same sex. I have hesitated in writing anything... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
The delightfully potty Alasdair Gray published a book of prefaces in 2000 and the book, as ever, is as fabulous for its artwork and cheeky glosses as for its undoubted literary ambition (from Caedmon to Wilfred Owen). Gray is surely right that prefaces can be a sort of 'verbal doorstep... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
I had one of those important conversations with a friend recently which served as a timely reminder that religion, if it is to be true to itself, must be about life. The conversation was about the simple practice of meditation, which each of us practices with others every week in... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
William Johnston is perhaps best known for his writings about Christianity and Zen Buddhism, but he is perhaps less well known for an area of spiritual exploration about which he knew a lot more - the mysticism of the anonymous English mediaeval work, The Cloud of Unknowing. Not only was... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
If you pick up a hymn book in a church in Germany, or the USA or a number of other places, you will find that the tune is always printed alongside the words in standard musical notation. Not so in the UK. For historical reasons of which I am wholly... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
On the Radio 4 phone-in, Any Answers?, on Saturday, I heard one commentator, speaking about Egypt, say the following: 'Egypt will never be a true democracy because the majority of the population belong to a religion that believes it is greater than the state'. As one given to contrariness, I... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
The new chapel of the Roman Catholic chaplaincy of the University of Edinburgh is beautiful. It has already won a number of architectural prizes and I would not be surprised if it wins more. As well as being a chapel for the University RC chaplaincy, this space also serves as... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
Peta Dunstan is a notable historian of Anglican Religious life and, for some years, her history of the European Province of the Society of St Francis has been sitting on my bookshelves waiting to be read. I have at last got round to reading This Poor Sort and would recommend... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
What can we do to change the world? Indeed, is it sensible even to think of such a thing? Does charity begin and end at home or do we need to think a lot more globally in our interconnected world? The spiritual insight of many religious traditions, including Christianity, has... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
William Dalrymple's gift for writing good history is a many-faceted one. He writes compellingly, giving both intimate portraits of the individuals involved in his story and a clear overview of the narrative. But his greatest gift is the ability to draw on sources from all sides in a conflict, giving... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
A holloway is a hidden path, sunk over time by the slow erosion of foot and wheel on soft rock, with trees often growing into a canopy above, forming a dark artery along long-used and often forgotten routes. Robert Macfarlane has just co-written a little book on these paths with... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
It seems to me that people who, like me, live in a city like Edinburgh, need solitude a great deal more than we often think. I remember the delight of visiting a Jain temple in Delhi in the heat of summer, with its cool marble tranquility, or the hushed mosque... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
It is a commonplace to assume that Christianity has not been kind to the non-human world and extreme versions of this assumption would have Christianity bear a great responsibility for the despoiling of the natural world by regarding it all as usable and consumable by human beings, who are commanded... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk and director of the World Community for Christian Meditation. He draws on the teaching of his mentor, the late John Main OSB to promote the ancient practice of contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition, founded on the insights of the earliest monks and nuns... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
I heard the voice of God. It was a voice of unmistakable clarity, a voice of utter reassurance and authority. It had beauty, richness, depth. It was a voice which, when it spoke, changed things - a creative voice. It was at once familiar and utterly strange, known, yet unknowable.... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
George Mackay Brown desribed the work of the poet in these words. They come at the end of his poem, The Poet: Therefore he no more troubled the pool of silence. But put on a mask and cloak, Strung a guitar And moved among the folk. Dancing they cried, 'Ah,... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
It is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the moment and this has got me thinking about the diversity of practice, style and emphasis within the Christian family. As I may have mentioned before, I enjoyed being part of the local Quaker meeting while living in Surrey and... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
I have been thinking recently about how the spiritual experiences of those who do and those who do not describe those experiences in religious terms are, in every important respect, experiences of the same thing. If I am right about this, I will need to think more about the content... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
These words are from the American Quaker writer on mysticism, Rufus Jones. He was suggesting that it would be unlikely for people to go on praying if they found no satisfaction in doing so. He was too intelligent to go so far as to say that the universal urge to... Continue »
New Post
Blog: Justluckie
Image
What makes us behave better than we otherwise might? What is the focus for our ethical action - is it our intellect, imagination, will, or is it only ever the fear of authority that makes us behave well? I have had a brief but interesting exchange recently with someone who... Continue »
‹ Previous12Next ›