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Reviewer: Joe Bloggs

Culinary treasures, such as oranges, marzipan, coffee, sugar, asparagus; practical household objects, such as carpets; all those magical words beginning in ‘al’, such as alcohol and alchemy; must-haves, such as soap and perfume, and even – in the old days - public baths; musical delights, such as the lute and guitar; and if you’re seriously bright, logarithmic tables and works of astronomy and astrology. What do all of these have in common? They are all a product of the Arab world and so, indirectly, of Islam.

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The Message in the Sand is a Changing One

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Joan Chittister, OSB

Recently, in a very real way, I watched the world both come together and fall apart. The interesting thing is that the insight came from where I least expected it. In the middle of Atlanta, Geergia, sits Drepung Loseling Mon-astery, a quiet little Buddhist com-munity intent on reminding us that we may be ignoring one of the basics of life. Here? Us? How could that be?

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The Slowmover (To Finsbury Park)

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Tim Rowe

I caught this morning morning's motorer, Cit- y of London's loiterer, lingering-long-late vehicle; I went riding on the lower level (underneath the smoky air), and tidying my hair (how it falls onto my face from its apposite, ordered, parted place!) then off, off now, we quit the bus-stop. Back bench and a-bouncing, the hurl and gliding produced a big wind. My stomach, chiding, stirred; I had erred! The haddock and the sausage! I was a twit! Fried fish and saveloy act, oh, air, full phlegm, now throw up! AND the fire that breaks from me then, a hundred times more searing, more acid, and so I'll go, I vow! No chance of it; slów plód makes tracks, and I dread trouble. The blue-black costume comes so slow- ly down, hounding me, and would that I were dead!

© 1979, 2009. With apologies to GMH and TfL. Tim Rowe is a writer, poet, worship leader and software engineer who lives with his family in Kent

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Is Spirituality the new Religion?

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Gethin Abraham-Williams

To begin at the beginning, to quote Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood! (Penguin, ₤7.99) - retirement provided me with the opportunity to reflect on what my ministry had been about, half of which had been in pastorates in England (in Coventry, in Sutton Coldfield and in Sutton, Surrey), and half as an ecclesiastical bureaucrat (albeit of an ecumenical kind!) in both England and Wales.

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Unknowing

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Speaking on “Wonders of the Universe” on BBC television, Professor Brian Cox said, “That is the most beautiful place for a scientist to be: on the borders of the known and the unknown.”

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