Wed 30th Jul 2014 | Last updated: Wed 30th Jul 2014 at 15:38pm

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Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest, doctor of moral theology and consulting editor of The Catholic Herald. On Twitter he is @ALucieSmith

Rationalists ought to be very annoyed by exorcist movies

Anthony Hopkins stars in The Rite (courtesy of New Line Cinema)

The American Gothic – from The Exorcist to Scooby Doo – deals with the shadows that have not been banished by the Enlightenment

Pastor Terry Jones and the rioting Afghan mob believe in a religion without reason

Pastor Terry Jones is surrounded by supporters at a news conference in New York (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

They have something in common, apart from anger: they believe in a religion that has no connection to morality

Last night the BBC’s biblical scholar made a crucial and sloppy mistake about Christian belief

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, by Wenzel Peter

Isn’t the BBC supposed to educate? Why, then, is it spreading ignorance in this way?

How to really solve poverty in Africa

People in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, could better themselves if they were given legal title to their dwellings (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

Well, here is a checklist. And it doesn’t include aid

At last people are starting to realise that foreign aid achieves very little

Bob Geldof: a vocal supporter of aid to Africa (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Often aid gives power and patronage to corrupt regimes that are the cause of poverty themselves

Theologians ought to love this BBC series on the Bible. Too bad it gives in to Dan Brown-style silliness

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, presenter of The Bible's Buried Secrets (Photo: BBC)

In its closing moments the episode last night gave up fact for opinion

Alice Thomas Ellis: isn’t it time someone wrote her biography?

Alice Thomas Ellis: isn’t it time someone wrote her biography?

She was a highly significant writer, and nearly every important literary person passed through her kitchen

Anne Boleyn is the historians’ favourite, but her cousin Katherine has the sadder story

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII and Tamzin Merchant as Katherine Howard in the television series, The Tudors

She was a pawn, not a political player, and no one, it seems, felt sorry for her

What we can learn from the decline of the Ottoman Empire

A watercolour by Count Amedeo Preziosi: past splendours exert a powerful hold

As in China, the forces of conservatism were too great

Niall Ferguson is wrong to suggest that Christianity stifles scientific enquiry

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (probably the most photogenic city in the world). AP Photo/Murad Sezer

Rather, there is plenty that encourages it