James Fergusson is right to conclude that rethinking our entire counter-extremism strategy must include combating the underlying theology of “extremist Islamism” (“The tangled roots of a culture of fear”, 10 June). It cannot be ignored.
In her response to Nicholas Tucker’s review of Alex Renton’s new book, Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, Crimes and the Schooling of a Ruling Class (Books, 27 May), Susan Rollins is right to warn against making generalisations (Letters, 10 June).
Spirit of Manchester
Liberation theology taught us that sin has structural roots. If we are all Manchester, and we are (“We’re in it together in this town”, 27 May), we are also all implicated in a world in which a 22-year-old makes desperate and wretchedly misguided choices.
Tim Gillett (Letters, 20 May) provokes a weary sigh of recognition, as he describes an all-too-common experience of congregations no longer singing. Some would say Catholics lost their voices quite some time ago. However, he is not being very fair on the parish he criticises. The church may well have been packed, but First Communicants bring along family and friends who are not regular church-goers and may not be Catholics at all, so are unlikely to know many of the hymns.
Validity of orders, Corbyn and defence, Priestly shortage, Michael Knowles raises a vital issue on the acute shortage of priests, Losing our voice, Gibberd’s way, At home with Father, Yellowhammer call.
Judaism in religious education
The Catholic Bishops may have been mistakenly advised in recommending Judaism rather than Islam as the second religion to be studied at GCSE in Catholic schools.
I was somewhat nonplussed by Philip Robinson’s article because it concentrated exclusively on “head” knowledge. I would describe the purpose of RE as helping young people to encounter Christ on the level of the heart.
As an annual gathering of clergy from all over the country who meet to reflect on our experience of ministry, we were very impressed by your editorial (“End the war on welfare”, 29 April) as it chimed so strongly with our experience.
Professor Nicholas Boyle provided an indulgent review of James Hawes’ The Shortest History of Germany (“The good Germans”, Books, 29 April). It is unacceptable to stigmatise Prussia and, especially, Protestantism as “the two demonic forces” that led Germany into disaster.
Damian Howard’s excellent attempt to unravel “the tangled roots of violence” feeding atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion, in particular Islam, (“The Pope in Egypt”, 29 April) arrives at a frustrating conclusion: violence as a form of evil “has no cause”.
Your editorial (“End the war on welfare”, 29 April) is a stark challenge for the Churches to wake from their slumber and be more proactive in defending the rights of the poor and homeless in the run- up to the general election.
I was delighted to see that The Tablet featured an article about St Mary’s Church in Dubai given that it is one of the most established and treasured Catholic churches in the Arabian peninsula (“Catholicism in the Gulf”, 22 April).
Your editorial on the upcoming general election (“Prime Minister May puts herself to the test”, 22 April) claims the challenges “undoubtedly favour democracy itself … an election should pull things together”.