Author

 
Stephen Bates

Stephen Bates

    Deep Read: Did Jesus really have a wife?
    Deep Read: Did Jesus really have a wife?
    A newly discovered fragment of papyrus suggests Jesus was married. But can we trust the document, and was Mary Magdalene the lady in question?
    Bad sex, worse text
    Bad sex, worse text
    The Literary Review awards highlight the steamiest and most excruciating writing of the year.
    War wasn't hell for Heller
    War wasn't hell for Heller
    Fans of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 may be surprised to learn that the author actually enjoyed his military service during World War II.
    Pope's shuffle thin end of a long wedge
    Pope's shuffle thin end of a long wedge
    When Pope Benedict XVI sat down with a German journalist, he probably never imagined that his cautious remarks about condoms would spark excitement.
    Facing the media pack
    Facing the media pack
    When he went down from Oxford for the Christmas holiday Bilawal Bhutto was just another undergraduate fresher, posting his picture at a Halloween party on Facebook. Recently, on his return to Britain, the chairperson of the Pakistan People's Party was mobbed by journalists and camera crews at a heaving London press conference.
    Archbishop: Stop teaching creationism
    Archbishop: Stop teaching creationism
    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has stepped into the controversy between religious fundamentalists and scientists by saying that he does not believe that creationism -- the Bible-based account of the origins of the world -- should be taught in schools.
    Archbishops threaten split
    Archbishops threaten split
    Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, faced the gravest threat to his authority as leader of the worldwide Anglican communion on Wednesday night, as nearly half the church's presiding archbishops launched an unprecedented attack on his leadership over the issue of gay clergy.
    Guarding against change
    Guarding against change
    The extraordinary scenes in Rome after the death of Pope John Paul II disguised the problems that his successor, Joseph Ratzinger -- now Benedict XVI, the sixth German pontiff -- will face in becoming the spiritual leader of one-sixth of the world's population: 1,1-billion people. The wave of affection shown for the old pope a fortnight ago was a message the cardinals may have misunderstood.
    Portuguese cardinal is papal dark horse
    Portuguese cardinal is papal dark horse
    As hopes that the next pope will come from Africa were increasingly dismissed as unlikely last week, and Nigeria's Cardinal Francis Arinze was criticised as not being a strong enough contender, a dark-horse candidate, capable of bridging the divide between the Europeans and the Latin American Roman Catholic cardinals, appeared to be emerging in the shape of the Patriarch of Portugal, Jose da Cruz Policarpo.
    Bishop spurns Aids cash
    Bishop spurns Aids cash
    An African bishop has announced that he will not accept more than $350 000 of funding to help Aids victims in his area because it comes from an American diocese that supported the election of a gay bishop two years ago. In a statement released to an American conservative Episcopalian website, Nzerebende announced: "South Rwenzori diocese upholds the Holy Scriptures as true word of God."
    Charity is not in Anglicans' lexicon
    Charity is not in Anglicans' lexicon
    The eyes of the Anglican world, Christianity's third-largest denomination, were last week focused on an agreeable Victorian Italianate mansion in Northern Ireland. Anglicanism's biggest cheeses -- 35 of its 38 primate archbishops and presiding bishops -- were sequestered inside, supposedly praying about the church's future. This urgent desire for a united Anglicanism is a recent development.