Category Archives: Religion

How should broadcast news journalists interview and talk about extremists?

Over the weekend I spoke to veteran ex BBC journalist Robin Lustig, Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness for an insight into Germany’s media and Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s 2012 senior strategist for 2 articles I wrote for The Guardian and The … Continue reading

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The economics of burkas, bikinis & The Nice Guys

  According to a recent BBC World Service programme about Malawi, the nation’s population hit 17.6 million this year and is expected to double by 2040, which the country’s finance minister described as “scary”. “A ticking timebomb of poverty and … Continue reading

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Why Obi Wan Kenobi is pure evil & why R2 D2 is Moses

An excellent panel of minds got together at Conway Hall’s latest #LondonThinks event last Thursday to discuss the theology and ethics of Star Wars films. You can watch it in full here on Youtube (below). Or open it in another … Continue reading

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The men are weeping in the Oval Office…

Lucy Dichmont and I have made a Something Understood for Radio 4 about Weeping. I knew I wanted to talk about the Wailing Women in the Bible and especially that I wanted to talk again to award-winning poet Andrew McMillan … Continue reading

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Ice, ash and fury: A meditation on eruptions from Mt St Helens to the Temple of St Paul’s Cathedral

Since I made The White North Has Thy Bones a year ago about our obsession with the Arctic and the North West Passage I’ve realised January has become a favourite time of the year. For this Something Understood the starting … Continue reading

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The Teen Within…

This week’s Something Understood gives voice to people who I reckon are rarely heard on radio. Teenagers. The readings are all done by young actors and much of the music and poetry you’ll hear was written by them, or about … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children, Culture, France, Germany, History, Media, Music, Radio, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Other Place: A journey into the Underworld with the Witch of Endor

(image from Genius.com) At the age of 6 or so I drew a picture pretty similar to this one in my school RE lesson and it’s been a question in my mind ever since and inspired my latest Something Understood … Continue reading

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Plotting Paradise: A journey through medieval maps and the mind

  Strains of Paradise may start with medieval maps and the Garden of Eden, but producer Anthony Denselow and I didn’t want to shy away from difficult questions too.  So we ask a Muslim theologian about the power of a … Continue reading

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Young, British and Imam-in-Training: Who we met and why

There were two things producer Georgia Catt and I tried to do with this half hour documentary for Radio 4. One: avoid random isolated Muslim voices claiming to speak for a majority saying  “That’s not Islam” about anything problematic, like … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Media, Politics, Radio, Religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Desert worlds: JG Ballard, Lawrence of Arabia, Dune & the story of Ishmael

My latest Something Understood for Radio 4 on Sunday April 19th was conceived as a sequel  to The White North Has Thy Bones, about our fascination with the Arctic and the North West Passage. Together with producer Natalie Steed we … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, Music, Radio, Religion, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments