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Proposals to merge parishes are creating concern 8

Catholic anthropologist Mary Douglas 14

C O L U M N S

Clifford Longley ‘The danger with appealing to science is that the argument is open to scientific refutation’ / 7

Peter Stanford ‘Kilburn Cathedral, some even called it “the Irish cathedral”, was a real force for integration’ / 16

R E G U L A R S

Great Catholics 17 Puzzles 17 Parish Practice 18 Notebook 19 Letters 20 The Living Spirit 21

CONTENTS 21 FEBRUARY 2015 // VOL 269 NO. 9088

F E A T U R E S

4 / Root and branch reformer Francis is set on bringing the margins to the centre / BY CHRISTOPHER LAMB

6 / Mob rule by monks

As elections approach, religious violence in Burma has risen / BY RICHARD COCKETT

8 / Mass discontent

Reorganisation of Scottish parishes is leaving the faithful bereft / BY BRIAN MORTON

10 / Telling it as it really was How The Tablet covered the Second Vatican Council / BY ROBERT NOWELL

12 / Breakdown in the classroom Catholic schools are at the forefront of children’s mental health care / BY LIZ DODD

14 / Savages, symbols and riddles The Christian anthropologists who defied academic opinion / BY TIMOTHY LARSEN

N E W S

28 / Grief and fury over Islamist beheading of Coptic Christians The Church in the World 29 / Pell and Marx clash on Holy See finances

31 / Letter from Rome News from Britain and Ireland 32 / ‘Horror stories’ of children quizzed on family life

COVER ILLUSTRATION: NERUUU

B O O K S / P A G E 2 2

Ian Thomson The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-1965 EDITED BY GEORGE CRAIG, MARTHA DOW FEHSENFELD, DAN GUNN AND LOIS MORE OVERBECK

Melanie McDonagh The Essence of the Brontës MURIEL SPARK

Patrick West The Peripheral WILLIAM GIBSON

A R T S / P A G E 2 5

Art Brentwood Cathedral’s Stations of the Cross MARTIN BOLAND

Opera The Mastersingers of Nuremberg ROBERT THICKNESSE

Theatre The Ruling Class MARK LAWSON

Television The Casual Vacancy JOHN MORRISH

21 FEBRUARY 2015 | THE TABLET | 3