In the Pink

In Washington earlier this week we saw at first hand the power of rhetoric when used to incite violence. But it’s not only rhetoric that influences what we think, but imagery too. My colleagues at King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) are amongst the world’s leading experts on ‘the Propaganda of the Deed’ or POTD and the events this … Continue reading In the Pink

A View of the City

On Friday, from my study in Suffolk, with the apple blossom in full bloom outside, I took a virtual pilgrimage through Pepys’ London, with author Jacky Colliss Harvey and Barbara Schwepcke, founder of Haus Publishing. Through the glass of our screens, Jacky gave us a tour of some of the 17th century tea and coffee … Continue reading A View of the City

Journey to the Interior

There have been many press reports recently of COVID dreams, perhaps a feature of extended sleep as it seems that many of us now gratefully fall into the arms of slumber much earlier than usual each night, simply to escape the monotony of our own existence. Locked into our homes we are also to some … Continue reading Journey to the Interior

Lockdown Lane

Over the coming weeks it is my intention to make a number of virtual pilgrimages with friends along routes they know well and, with the help of technology, to share in their experience of the route and the destination. Past experience of virtual pilgrimage is that it can be as joyous as the real thing … Continue reading Lockdown Lane

A Panoramic View

On a recent solo trip to Jerusalem my wonderful hosts asked if I would like to visit Nabi Samwil, the tomb of the prophet Samuel. Sacred to both Jews and Muslims and sited atop a rocky outcrop, this place offers a panoramic view which takes in the city and circles around to the territories of … Continue reading A Panoramic View

Promising the Moon

In ancient times pilgrims made extravagant promises and offerings to the heavens in exchange for something they badly wanted themselves – perhaps a good harvest or a victory in war? The Oracle at Delphi was adorned with the material evidence of such transactions, not least the offerings of Croesus who was prepared to use the … Continue reading Promising the Moon

On Sinking & Floating & Thomas Cook

As the news breaks this morning that Thomas Cook has gone bust, many travellers, pilgrims amongst them, will find themselves stranded abroad and faced with the problem of getting home. For some this will be an expensive inconvenience, for others it may mean incurring a debt that proves to be the first rung of ruin … Continue reading On Sinking & Floating & Thomas Cook

Delphi’s historic roots hold the key to the future

It is early morning and the sun remains hidden by the pink and grey escarpment of Mount Parnassus. In its shadow, the Temple of Athena sits in solitude. Many of its monumental stones have long since tumbled down the grassy slope into the valley which leads the eye to the wine-dark distant sea. The day … Continue reading Delphi’s historic roots hold the key to the future

The Future is Another Country

In the 900 years or so since Peter the Hermit incited thousands of paupers from across Europe to join the First Crusade to ‘take back control’ of Jerusalem, historians have speculated about what provoked so many poor men and women to risk everything on the back of rousing religious rhetoric which promised so much (although notably not … Continue reading The Future is Another Country

Common Ground

Even where we share the same faith (whether it be Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or the myriad others) we like to fight over the small differences which differentiate one group from the next. Jerusalem is the shining example of this. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has almost fallen into dust on several occasions as … Continue reading Common Ground