It’s that time of year again, when people all over Britain go off for the traditional New Year’s Vipassana retreat. But not me – this year, I decided to keep it old school. I went on a Benedictine retreat. Last Sunday, I traveled down to the Isle of Wight, to stay at Quarr Abbey (it’s Read more…

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Earlier this week, my girlfriend and I toured around Yorkshire and Northumberland, once the stronghold of English medieval monasticism. We visited the beautiful ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, which once boasted the biggest church in England. As we wandered around the ruins, I wondered what we lost, when Henry VIII dissolved more than 1000 monasteries in Read more…

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Wisdom is a watering-hole at which animals of many different species can come and drink – as long as they don’t insist on trying to convert, denounce or attack each other, but instead meet in friendship and good humour. Last month, I took part in a slightly silly stunt for World Philosophy Day. I and Read more…

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At the end of Philosophy for Life, I asked what the Socratic-Stoic tradition of philosophy misses out, and suggested there is an alternate approach to life and to emotional healing, which I called the Dionysiac tradition: The virtues of the Socratic tradition are self-control, rationality, self-consciousness and measure. The Socratic tradition typically puts forward a Read more…

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Peter Vardy is a theologian and perhaps the leading Religious Studies teacher in the country. After teaching theology at Heythrop College and writing several best-selling books on ethics and religious philosophy, he and his wife Charlotte – also a theologian – set up Candle Conferences, which runs huge events for RS students around the country. Read more…

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