One of the minor masterpieces of modern Irish literature is Seamus O’Kelly’s long story The Weaver’s Grave, which recounts the animadversions of two old men asked to find the family burial place in the local Cloon na Morav in Connacht.The request comes from the young widow of the dead man, but they are more interested in their...

In 1965, Michael Viney published an influential pamphlet, The Five Percent: A  Survey of Protestants in the Republic, reprinting a series of articles from The Irish Times. The title gave its name to a sociological anxiety: will the five percent shrink to four or even three; will the Masonic Five subvert the comfortable majority?When Jack...

This is a brief but very significant pamphlet by an important theologian. Walter Kasper is a German cardinal and the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, whose continuing programme of reconciliation emerged from Vatican II.Here he provides a German Catholic perspective on how, at this time of history, we...

Roy Hattersley, a former MP and Minister in Britain,  prefaces his congenial history with a fascinating autobiographical fragment in which he recalls the ease with which his father could translate Latin inscriptions during their frequent visits to historic churches.After his death he discovered that his father had once been a priest. During...

 Tomorrow, during the now ever-expanding festivities recalling the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is set, will see a host of events of all kinds for all tastes, from  sit-down breakfasts at the Joyce Centre to esoteric playlets performed by one actor.This year, though, Dublin City Council has ensured that what are now...

Declan MarmionWhen Martin Luther allegedly pinned his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517 he had little idea of the theological and political tumult he was about to unleash in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Luther intended them as an invitation to a theological discussion, not to divide the Church.In...

Shouldering the Lamb: Reflections on an Iconby Richard Clarke (Dominican Publications, €12.00)This is the second book of Dr Richard Clarke, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh. It has already won praise from his episcopal neighbour, Archbishop Éamon Martin. Taking the almost universal image of Christ as a shepherd carrying a lamb...

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