Arts and Culture

Christian Bale plays Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox Film

Gods, kings and a bellicose boy

“The Lord is a man of war,” says the book of Exodus, and those six words inform the new dramatization of the mass exodus of 400,000 Jews from their captivity in Egypt around 1300 BC. In Exodus: Gods and Kings God tells Moses “I need a general.”

Seeing with the ‘eye of the soul’

Not many books use a potato to explain spiritual wholeness but Father Luke Bell manages to do this and more inThe Meaning of Blue: Recovering a Contemplative Spirit. As a monk-priest at Quarr Abbey on the UK’s Isle of Wight, Bell is well placed to teach us about contemplation and potatoes.

Disconnect to reconnect

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Communication (winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction) explores how the digital revolution now dictating so much of our day-to-day activity unfolded, what it entails for our personal and professional lives-and why we should at least try to resist the temptations constantly on offer from the blinking screens in our homes, offices and in our own pockets.

Creativity in thrall to moral nihilism

The five novels (at least two more are planned) that comprise George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series defied conventional cinematic adaptation: with numerous characters, far-flung locations (everything from deserts to great cities to a wintry wasteland) and complex plots, each of the books was too involved to fit within the confines of even a long movie.

Faith across generations

To this day I can still picture myself climbing the stairs of Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall toward the balcony. It was in the highest heights of that concert hall that I encountered The Messiah for the first time. By the time I was seven or eight years old, it had become family tradition to yearly immerse ourselves in George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece.

Jesus through a Muslim lens

ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth By Reza Aslan Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014 ISBN 978-0-8129-8148-3; 296 pages How credible is a

Growing up in Boyhood

The movie’s opening scene is its most evocative: a five-year-old boy lies on his back upon the green grass, gazing up at the clouds passing on a blue sky, as if transfixed by a waking dream.

Visitors to the opening of Called to Serve admire some of the many vintage uniforms on display. Photo: Michael Hudson

Walking with the soldiers of solace

To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Canada’s first-ever exhibition on military chaplains is under way at Toronto’s Cathedral Church of St. James.

Being kind even to insects can teach children the value of compassion. Photo: Lisa Eastman

Of apes and man

Once we postulate a “difference,” we legitimize a dichotomy-between how we want to be treated and how we treat others.

Journey to Jerusalem Sunday book list

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish Dr. Abuelaish’s life, as a Palestinian born in a refugee camp who became

Secular story, religious themes

It takes time for the “winter vault” to appear in Anne Michaels’ novel(over 240 pages in), but it is an apt title for this beautifully craftedstory of dispossession and adaptation, of loss and hard-won hope, ofthe creative capacity of story to open the way to reconciliation and thepower of love to realize redemption.