Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Review of the Qur'an

The Qur'an is not an easy book for a modern Western reader.  When the British Muslim writer Ziauddin Sardar took up the project of blogging the Qur'an for the Guardian, the journalist Madeleine Bunting wrote:

Sexuality and marriage in Islam

Following my researches on sex and gender in Christian and Catholic thought, I want to turn briefly to the response of Islam to human sexuality.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Traditional Catholic views on the inspiration of the Bible

The initial response of the Catholic Church to the advent of modern biblical criticism was to reaffirm the traditional doctrine of the inerrancy of scripture.  Pope Leo XIII stated in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, issued in 1893:

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Review of "The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction" by Michael Coogan

This is a useful introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) from OUP's 'Very Short Introduction' series.  It is written by the American biblical scholar Michael Coogan.

Burckhardt's account of Mecca

A somewhat critical account of premodern Mecca from Travels in Arabia by John Lewis Burckhardt (1829).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Classic European accounts of the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)

From the article "Christians at Mecca" by Arthur Jeffery (first published in The Muslim World 19 (1929)):

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ordinations in the Ethiopian Church

An account of ordinations in the old Abyssinian Church from The Lesser Eastern Churches by Adrian Fortescue.

The end of the Papal States

This is an account of the capture of Rome in 1870 from The Last Days of Papal Rome by Raffaele De Cesare.  The city was captured by the Italian army under King Victor Emmanuel from the meagre forces of Pope Pius IX.  The decisive developments were the decision of the French Emperor, Napoleon III, to deploy his troops elsewhere in order to fight the Franco-Prussian War, the defeat of the French forces by the Prussians at the Battle of Sedan, and the subsequent replacement of the Napoleonic regime with the Third French Republic.