Ancient Greek ‘Religion’

Tim Whitmarsh, 20 December 2018

These days​, thanks to Google Books, it is possible to find out when people started paying attention to ‘Greek religion’. The phrase first appeared in print in English in 1654; it...

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The Islamic Enlightenment

Dmitri Levitin, 22 November 2018

‘Oriental history​,’ the German philologist Johann Jakob Reiske wrote in 1747, ‘is very worthy of the study of an honest mind, and does not deserve any less than European...

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Sartre in Cairo

Adam Shatz, 22 November 2018

In the spring​ of 1961, Frantz Fanon wrote to his publisher in Paris to suggest that he ask Jean-Paul Sartre for a preface to his anti-colonial manifesto, The Wretched of the Earth. ‘Tell...

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Augustine’s Confessions

Adam Phillips, 25 October 2018

Early on​ in Emmanuel Carrère’s remarkable novel The Kingdom (2014), about the vagaries of Christian conversion, the narrator tells us that his unhappy mother always knew of the...

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Short Cuts: The Court of Appeal

Francis FitzGibbon, 11 October 2018

If you want​ to appeal against a guilty verdict given by a crown court jury you first have to seek permission from the Court of Appeal. For permission to be granted, a judge has to be satisfied...

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‘The Holy Land’

Diarmaid MacCulloch, 27 September 2018

The Middle East​ isn’t short of ruins (there are many more now than there were a few years ago), and until the turn of the millennium archaeologists believed that those at Khirbet...

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Object-Oriented Ontology

Stephen Mulhall, 27 September 2018

Early on​ in his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein imagines an interlocutor who claims that every word in language signifies something – where ‘signifies’ means...

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The Garment of Terrorism

Azadeh Moaveni, 30 August 2018

Hijabs are cool, just like beards are cool, just like Muslim piety is cool; wearing them gives meaning to a perplexing, unjust world and lends the wearer a coherent, dignified transnational identity.

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Monk Justice

Kieran Setiya, 30 August 2018

‘If​ universities had been an invention of the second half of the 20th century,’ Michael Dummett wondered in his last book, The Nature and Future of Philosophy (2010), ‘would...

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Caste or Class

Tariq Ali, 30 August 2018

According to recent estimates by India’s National Crime Records Bureau, every 16 minutes a crime is committed by caste Hindus against an untouchable – or Dalit, as they prefer to be called....

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Airborne Females

Marina Warner, 30 August 2018

At​ the furthest edges of the known world, medieval travellers encountered creatures who held a single giant foot over their head as a makeshift parasol and fearsome hybrids with eyes peering...

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Short Cuts: Jordan Peterson

William Davies, 2 August 2018

‘OK,​ we’ve been speaking for an hour and fifteen now, so you have a choice. Either we go to questions from the audience, or we carry on for another 45 minutes. It’s up to...

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Superfluous Men

Malcolm Bull, 2 August 2018

In​ The Passions and the Interests, published in 1977, Albert Hirschman revisited the 18th-century argument that the pursuit of worldly self-interest might be the most effective way of...

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GDPR and Journalism

Jo Glanville, 5 July 2018

When​ the first Data Protection Act was passed in 1984, it was estimated that there were 200,000 computers in the UK holding personal data, defined in the legislation as information relating to...

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Short Cuts: Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba

Lana Spawls, 21 June 2018

On​ the morning of 18 February 2011 Jack Adcock, a six-year-old boy, was brought into Leicester Royal Infirmary with diarrhoea and vomiting. He died eleven hours later. The paediatric registrar...

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The Kāmasūtra

Christopher Minkowski, 21 June 2018

The​ Kāmasūtra occupies an unusual place in the popular imagination. Since the first private publication in 1883 of an English translation – a project fronted by the Orientalising...

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The Wrong Human Rights

Pankaj Mishra, 21 June 2018

Samuel Moyn wants to reinstate socialism – which was, after all, the ‘central language of justice’ globally before it was supplanted by human rights – as an ethical ideal and political...

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After Boko Haram

Adewale Maja-Pearce, 25 April 2018

Whatever becomes of Boko Haram, a greater threat to stability in the country as a whole, not just the north, has begun to emerge: a group known to Nigerians as ‘Fulani herdsmen’.

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