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PHOTO: SYRIAN PRESIDENCY’S FACEBOOK PAGE

President Assad of Syria takes delivery of a letter from Pope Francis 25

COLUMN

Christopher Howse’s Notebook ‘Providence ordains the progress of the universal chess game’ / 5 Peter Hennessy’s The Lion and the Unicorn ‘As never before Civil Servants must fulfil their duty of speaking truth unto power’ / 9 Shelagh Fogarty ‘In almost every discussion, I come up against total resistance to seeking common ground’ / 11

REGULARS Word from the Cloisters 15 Puzzles 15 Letters 17 The Living Spirit 18

CONTENTS 27 JULY 2019 // VOL 273 NO. 9312

FEATURES

4 / Where have all the Christians gone? Church leaders often say that the decline in those identifying as Christian belies an resilience of belief. That is a myth, says a Catholic sociologist / BY STEPHEN BULLIVANT

6 / The Tablet interview: Bear Grylls The adventurer and chief scout believes bravery comes not through fearlessness but by finding a streak of steel from beyond ourselves / BY PETER STANFORD

8 / Let the bishops take on Boris Since Boris Johnson began his campaign to lead the Conservative Party, there has been little scrutiny by the Church of his fitness for office / BY ANDREW PIERCE

10 / A further warning from history When Caligula succeeded Augustus, a Jewish leader faced a timeless challenge: how does a community deal with a powerful tyrant? / BY KIRSTY JANE FALCONER

12 / The ugly sisters of modern politics Insurgent populists on both the Left and the Right and a new generation of intolerant liberals are all converging in a dangerous direction / BY ADRIAN PABST

NEWS

24 / The Church in the World / News briefing 25 / Cardinals take letter from Francis to Assad

27 / View from Rome 28 / News from Britain and Ireland / News briefing 29 / Irish don’t want hard border, says new bishop

COVER: SAMUEL BUTTERY AS HEROD IN JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR AT THE BARBICAN THEATRE; PHOTO BY JOHAN PERSSON

ARTS / PAGE 19

M usicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Jesus Christ Superstar MARK LAWSON Exhibition Olafur Eliasson JOANNA MOORHEAD Television Bauhaus Spirit LUCY LETHBRIDGE Radio The Angels of the Bayou D.J. TAYLOR

BOOKS / PAGE 22

Anthony Gardner The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels ADAM NICOLSON Rose Gamble Two Weeks in November DOUGLAS ROGERS Morag MacInnes Jailbirds MIM SKINNER

27 JULY 2019 | THE TABLET | 3

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