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Discerning the light

Former Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway, whose complex relationship with his own Christian tradition has made him perhaps the quintessential sceptical Scot, widens his focus to the world’s religions in a new book exploring the history of faith.

A Little History of Religion follows in the footsteps of Karen Armstrong’s A History of God and Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions in offering a popular introduction to this most intricate of subjects from a questioning, though not unsympathetic perspective.

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Zionism, anti-Semitism and the Left

How can political progressives who have dedicated their careers to principled opposition to racism possibly be guilty of anti-Semitism, one of history’s darkest and most ancient forms of discrimination?

The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism by Dave Rich is a lucid and sensitive exploration of how well-intentioned anti-racism can nonetheless generate specifically left-wing expressions of this most protean of prejudices.

The book could not be more timely. Dozens of Labour members have been suspended in the course of the party’s ongoing anti-Semitism row, including prominent figures such as Ken Livingstone, MP Naz Shah and Momentum Vice-Chair Jackie Walker. The long-standing association of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell with anti-Zionist movements continues to be subject to forensic scrutiny, and Jewish support for the party has plummeted.

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