Civilisation: Do we know it when we see it? He did

The presenter the BBC chooses to remake Kenneth Clark's seminal series has a tough act to follow

Treating Composers as Researchers is Bonkers

Music's artistic merit does not depend on academic criteria-as I know from experience

In Search of the Incomparable Max

I discovered Max Beerbohm as an undergraduate. Rereading his work today has been just as enjoyable

What Do We Mean When We Speak of Freedom?

Two rival concepts of liberty have their roots in medieval canon law and Anglo-Saxon England

God, Hayek and the Conceit of Reason

The economist knew the survival of civilisation rested on belief but couldn't make the leap of faith

Damian McBride: A Cautionary Tale

Did Gordon Brown’s aide receive moral formation at Peterhouse, Cambridge? If not, why not?

Lessons For Librarians Of London’s Folio Fiasco

A plan to sell four Shakespeare Folios revealed a widespread underappreciation of rare books

Is Bach The Voice Of God In Music?

John Eliot Gardiner's new portrait is the culmination of a lifetime's devotion to the great composer

Is the Brain the Key to Understanding Religion?

The neuroscience of human nature now treats mind and body as a single integrated entity

From Kitsch to Cool: Picasso and Modern Art

Marxist art historians cherish his Cubism, but he later became a true artist, not just a modernist

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"