I attended a seminar on wonder at the Centre for Medical Humanities in Durham last week. This post comes from our discussions there. Thanks to all the participants and to Martyn Evans for a great day. Although religion is no longer a major force in most people’s lives, with only 15% of British people going Read more…

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I was up in east Scotland on New Year’s Day, and found myself walking along a path called the John Muir Way. A few days later, a book I was reading mentioned a famous naturalist called John Muir, so I looked him up. It turns out John Muir was a father of modern conservationism, and Read more…

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Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive linguist, would not make a very good ambassador. In his latest diatribe, he attempts to reassure humanities scholars that science is not their enemy. Science is good, and humanities scholars should stop complaining about ‘Scientism’. Unfortunately, he says this in such a tactless and, er, Scientistic way that it’s guaranteed Read more…

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Is it possible to for a professional sports team to put character before external success? I visited Saracens rugby club to find out. It can still feel weird discussing having had depression and anxiety to strangers in public talks. Although I’m fairly used to exposing myself these days (as it were), there are still occasions Read more…

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Imagine, if you will, the scene. The Enlightenment has defeated Religion, and its various champions meet to carve up the vanquished enemy’s territories. Philosophy takes the chair: ‘Right then, settle down everyone. Thank you. Now, let’s see…Religion used to offer ethics and laws. We’ll split that with jurisprudence. It also used to offer divination and Read more…

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