The Curious Case of the Tablet

Friday, 30 January 2009 05:06
The Curious Case of The Tablet Having learned of the imminent publication of What Should I Believe?, Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet, contacted Adrian Weston of Raft PR to arrange an appointment for an interview with me. Thus it was that Catherine came to my home on September 30, 2008, where we spent about two hours in quiet discussion. Like all good journalists, she had read my book carefully and prepared a list of questions. I answered straightforwardly and seriously. All her questions were crystal clear. None aimed to trick or attack me. It was not until the end of our discussion that she chided me for criticising the Catholic Church. She told me that to her the Church was family, and she was loyal to her family. We spent a few minutes discussing family loyalty, and how we can feel hurt if an outsider criticises it. She then packed her things and prepared to leave. I asked her when her article was likely to be published, and she said that possibly it would appear in the issue after next. Catherine left me copies of six issues of The Tablet which I read with considerable interest. However, I did…

The Tablet: Catherine Pepinster (Nov 08)

Friday, 28 November 2008 05:05
The self-help delusion Spurred by the atrocities of 9/11, critics of religion first turned their fire on the fundamentalists – initially those of Islam, then those of Christianity. Now, doyenne of the make-it-alone gurus Dorothy Rowe has conventional Christians in her sights By Catherine Pepinster If you have attended literary festivals you will know which kind of author is guaranteed to be a big draw. There will be a good crowd for a novelist, a few hangers- on for a poet reciting his verse, but the sellout stars are the gurus – the ones that people feel explain the world and make sense of it. Once, that might have been the role of a priest, and certainly some of today’s gurus reflect the characteristics of a holy man. There’s the fire-and-brimstone, preaching-from-the-pulpit type – a Christopher Hitchens or a Richard Dawkins warning their followers of the dangers of religion. Or there are the emotional gurus, the ones attracting those wanting to confess their misery and their failings, looking for some kind of redemption from those who advocate psychological self-help. And among the self-help gurus, you don’t come bigger than Dorothy Rowe. Rowe, to give her credit, is no self-made selfhelper. She has…