Parts of the former Soviet bloc still feel very different to Western Europe. In Ukraine, which is outside the European Union, you enter back into the recent past by rail travel. There are no advertisements on these trains, no signs of capitalism — even on the sleeper trains which connect people from Chernivtsi in the west to Kharkiv in the east, and everywhere in between.
There is something about the Advent season which makes me especially sensitive to the spiritual dimension of existence. Advent is the season of expectancy, of waiting for some kind of revelation which we don’t know too much about. Like the passengers in C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce (1945) who sit on a bus in expectation […]
On Saturday morning I received a letter in the post which asked me to confirm if I had agreed to act as a guarantor for somebody to take out a lone for a considerable amount of money. Well, I hadn’t agreed, and this simply opened a can of worms with a big fat label on […]
Hospitals are funny places. The human body is fragmented into constituent parts and everything that could possibly go wrong with those parts. There’s the eye section; and there’s the cancer ward; and over there is the burns unit; there the cardiac section, and so on. This modern, systematic dissection of the human into its various organic parts is of course necessary when locating the source of a person’s pain. But I wonder about what it’s all for.
Perhaps the title is a clue, but to my mind ‘The Crown’ is a probing investigation into the ways in which an impersonal idea of duty calls for human sacrifice. Rather than a person being the focal point of attention, as in Helen Mirren’s wonderful 2006 film, ‘The Queen’, in ‘The Crown’ the focal point is an idea – that of ‘the Crown’.
Welcome to ‘The New Personalist’, the blog which takes a view on contemporary culture from a personalist perspective.