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On Faith and Art – St George’s Church, 30 October 2018

The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca

You are never so much yourself
as when you lose yourself.

Lecture at St George’s Church,
Campden Hill, on 30 October 2018

I have brought you here under false pretences.  The title of this series is Exploring Faith Through the Arts. But what I intend to do is re-define Faith and re-define Art … and perhaps thereby (and by God’s grace) discern what is taking place between these two fundamental realities. I shall project for you no pictures (though I shall refer to some which are already familiar of have been made familiar by the valuable talks we have had so far). I shall be quoting passages from certain writers and from Scripture. But I don’t want to hang this talk on visual or verbal or aural samples of art from art’s vast panoply but, rather, keep upon the plane of ideas, of theological and philosophic perception. Continue reading “On Faith and Art – St George’s Church, 30 October 2018”

‘Old men ought to be explorers …’ – Wotton Society (Eton) 70th Anniversary Speech

Tom Stacey’s 88th birthday on January 11, 2018 was the date selected for the celebration at Eton College of the 70th anniversary of his foundation of Wotton’s Society (in the field of philosophy), with a dinner hosted by the Provost of Eton, the The Rt Hon Lord Waldegrave, at which Tom Stacey was guest-of-honour and gave the following speech without recourse to notes: Continue reading “‘Old men ought to be explorers …’ – Wotton Society (Eton) 70th Anniversary Speech”

Religion: The Ultimate Art Form – St George’s Church, 4 October 2016

Religion: The Ultimate Art Form

A lecture first delivered at St George’s Church,
Campden Hill, London, on 4 October 2016

Thank you for coming to listen to a talk on a theme, which on the face of it would have been enough some seven centuries ago to have the speaker bound at the stake ready for burning. When Father James heard of my flash of perception of  ‘religion – the ultimate art form’ from a member of his flock, a great friend of mine, he daringly invited me to be one the lecturers in the series Exploring Faith through Art. Thank you, Fr James. For my flash of perception was somewhat à côté. Continue reading “Religion: The Ultimate Art Form – St George’s Church, 4 October 2016”

On Meister Eckhart – May 2016

On Meister Eckhart

Let us come to Meister Eckhart not as a figure from the remote past some seven hundred years ago, a spiritual phenomenon of a mediaeval Europe whose cultural conditioning was vastly distant from our own experience, but as a fellow human being, growing up to choose his path in life and his priorities amid all the urges and appetites, options and allures that bear upon a young person of a given intelligence and gravity, who might be sitting among us at this table. Let us suppose him drawn, like us, to fulfil the purpose of a spiritual life . . . as could be lived or attempted by someone of his circle or of his family, who were of respectable standing just like us, but in Thuringia in the middle of central Germany, in a horse-drawn era.
Continue reading “On Meister Eckhart – May 2016”

Islam and Its Future – The Dying Dragon

© Tom Stacey 2015 The Probus Lecture ®

ISLAM AND ITS FUTURE
The Dying Dragon

It was a full year ago that I was invited to give this talk, and together we settled on its theme of ‘Islam and its Future’. We could hardly have guessed how intense the issue of Islam would grow to be. Islam, in its various manifestations: what will become of it, what will it do to us? Continue reading “Islam and Its Future – The Dying Dragon”

The All-purpose Bogeyman – The Spectator, August 2003

The All-purpose Bogeyman:
Idi Amin was up to his elbows in blood,
says Tom Stacey, but the appalling truth is
that he had some admirable qualities

THE SPECTATOR — August 2003

One has to be careful of saying anything nice about people like Idi Amin, even when they are dead and gone. It is easy to get a reputation for being deliberately provocative, or for seeking compassion kudos like the late Lord Longford, who befriended convicts for the sheer magnitude of their infamy.
Continue reading “The All-purpose Bogeyman – The Spectator, August 2003”

The Mountains of the Moon – The Spectator, January 2002

The Mountains of the Moon:
Septuagenarian Tom Stacey pits himself
against the glaciers of the Equator

THE SPECTATOR — January 2002

The other day, when it was still summer in Kensington, I was gripped by a compulsion to climb to the snows of the Mountains of the Moon. Such a compulsion was unusual and, I sensed immediately, a little sinister in someone over 70. It was a compulsion to engage in eternity-challenge: i.e., to sidle up to God and mutter, ‘This is me. You’ll take me now?’
Continue reading “The Mountains of the Moon – The Spectator, January 2002”