Christianity

Keeping faith

9 September 2017 9:00 am

For Church of England vicars who worry less about what they will preach on Sunday than whether there will be…

A woman on a ducking-stool, accused of witchcraft. Drowning would have proved her innocence

The roots of witchcraft

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Until the mid-1960s many historians believed witchcraft was a pre-Christian pagan fertility ritual, witches worshipping the Horned God, whose consort…

Losing our religion

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem, performed at the Proms on Sunday, isn’t about Brexit. The composer had to make this…

My fears about the new ‘extremism commission’

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was once invited to speak in this country — and the row which developed…

Mixed blessings

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Japan is the only developed country where people openly espouse two distinct and incompatible religions at the same time —…

In praise of Advent

26 November 2016 9:00 am

The first Sunday of Advent is 27 November this year. For those of us who prefer Advent services to Christmas…

Britain really is ceasing to be a Christian country

28 May 2016 9:00 am

A landmark in national life has just been passed. For the first time in recorded history, those declaring themselves to…

Breaking the commandments on Moses’s mountain

28 May 2016 9:00 am

A medieval party of 800 Armenians at the top of Mount Sinai suddenly found themselves surrounded by fire. Their pilgrim…

The slow (and ignominious) death of the British funeral

14 May 2016 9:00 am

I mourn for the traditional ceremony

Let’s vote ‘in’ to renew the EU, says Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

7 May 2016 9:00 am

There is more to the idea of Europe than narrow economic considerations. The Remain side needs to say so

The beginning of the end for Pope Francis

16 April 2016 9:00 am

What the Pope didn’t just say about divorce

In 1600 Muhammad al-Annuri arrived in England, as the Moroccan ambassador, to propose an Anglo-Moroccan alliance. Shakespeare probably started writing Othello six months later

Gloriana and the Sultan — England’s unlikely alliance

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The idea for a mechanical cock was never going to work. In 1595 the English ambassador to Constantinople, Edward Barton,…

The price of a cathedral – and how deans pay it

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Deans are facing tough decisions to keep their beautiful buildings in good order

St Paul (detail) by the Byzantine Master,St Sophia Cathedral, Kiev

Following Jesus’s followers

26 March 2016 9:00 am

In his new book Apostle Tom Bissell has an advantage over writers who go looking for Jesus: he can start…

Hell made fun – the joy of Hieronymus Bosch

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The 20th-century painter who called himself Balthus once proposed that a monograph about him should begin with the words ‘Balthus…

‘Madonna del Parto’ fresco in Monterchi by Piero della Francesca

On the trail of Piero della Francesca

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Piero della Francesca is today acknowledged as one of the foundational artists of the Renaissance. Aldous Huxley thought his ‘Resurrection’…

What conservative gay Christians want

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Conservative homosexual Christians want something more radical than marriage

Author Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson's Shylock is full of mercy and compassion

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Howard Jacobson’s novelistic riff on The Merchant of Venice for the Hogarth Shakespeare project turns, unsurprisingly, on what makes some…

Mark Zuckerberg should be applauded — whatever his motive

2 January 2016 9:00 am

The Egyptian driver of a London minicab said almost nothing during our journey but dropped me off at my destination…

We need Christianity more than ever in this Age of Atheists

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Have we ever needed Christianity more than we do today? It’s a rhetorical question, for sure, because the loss of…

‘The Birth of Christ’, 1896, by Paul Gauguin

Why would a dissolute rebel like Paul Gauguin paint a nativity?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford investigates how this splendid Tahitian Madonna came about and why religion was ever-present in Gauguin's art

'The tide is turning': Justin Welby interviewed by Michael Gove

12 December 2015 9:00 am

An interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

The Lord’s Prayer is no more offensive than Jeremy Clarkson or deodorant

12 December 2015 9:00 am

There was a time not so very long ago when the most common complaint about Christmas was that it had…

The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘Fine old Christmas,’ wrote George Eliot, ‘with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in…

Am I a brave cult survivor, too?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

When I was 21, I lived with a cult for a year. It was a commune really, a tight-knit group…