ISSUES 1 & 2 AVAILABLE

Leaven Magazine

‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.’

ABOUT LEAVEN

'The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.'

Leaven is a bimonthly digital magazine mainly for and by young Catholics in Ireland, providing readers with thought-provoking material from a range of voices, talking about everything, and holding to what is true. Bringing a spiritual lens to the world, we aim to showcase a coherently and distinctly Irish Catholic vision that is kind and thoughtful, honest and faithful, balanced, relevant, and fresh. We are firmly committed to getting beyond stereotypes and stale talking points, highlighting that smart, young, curious, compassionate people – and especially women! – are integral to our Church, and helping their voices be heard. Leaven is for anyone who wants to grow a genuine living faith in their own life and become a leaven for Ireland and the world.

Each issue will explore a mix of topics from science to literature, pop culture to social justice, history to philosophy and beyond. The second issue is available from 14 June, under the editorship of Greg Daly, formerly of The Irish Catholic, Aleteia, and Catholic Voices.

NEW

Volume 1 Issue 2

Leaven Cover for Volume 1 Issue 2

01

From the Editor

Greg Daly reflects on words of caution about the importance of being a leaven of the Kingdom rather than a leaven of the Pharisees or of Herod, and describes steps underway to ensure that Leaven is an accountable and transparent organisation. As the Church in Ireland moves onto a synodal path the challenge to be a positive leaven, avoiding the self-righteous and arrogant tendencies of other leavens, will be something we all need to watch out for.

02

Interview: Evolving Ideas: Darwin’s God

Prof. Kenneth Miller is one of the world’s top cellular biologists, a practicing Catholic, and a man who Richard Dawkins has described as ‘the most persuasive nemesis of “intelligent design”’. Prof. Miller describes his work, his path back to faith in early adulthood, how Catholicism affirms the importance of science, and argues that it’s entirely plausible that we have evolved as physical beings to reason and have free will.

03

Spooky signposts for a broken world

Death and the eternal lie at the heart of detective fiction, writes Rachel Sherlock. Although leading practitioners of the form have argued that the supernatural needs to be excluded from the logical puzzles of murder mysteries, it’s the genre’s nature to point to the Last Things, and especially to death and judgement. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that some fine examples of the field have drawn back the curtains between this world and the afterlife.

04

Fighting fire with fiction

St John Henry Newman believed leads given by literature and the popular arts are ignored at the Church’s peril, writes Fr Bernard Healy. The first canonised novelist dealt in Loss and Gain and Callista with questions of conversion and also raised concerns about the dangers of religious complacency, the differences between sincere criticism and sectarian bigotry, and how the Church can be influenced by the societies in which it lives.

05

Not by bread alone – June

Fr Columba McCann focuses in the readings for Corpus Christi to show the close relationship in our Scriptures between the blood of sacrifice and God’s covenants with man. He shows how the story of the Exodus provides a key to our understanding of the Mass and helps us see just what it is that we experience when we come together to worship God in the Eucharist.

06

Interview – Grown-up words for a grown-up faith

A convert, a leading Scripture scholar, and the first woman to head Maynooth’s Faculty of Theology, Jessie Rogers thinks a challenge for the Church in Ireland is that even people of deep faith can find it hard to articulate what it is they believe. Following the classic description of theology as ‘faith seeking understanding’, she speaks of a need to develop a mature language of faith, and for theology to be conducted on the margins of society.

07

Enchantments of the ordinary

Throughout the last year of his father’s life, Maolsheachlann Ó Ceallaigh watched every episode of the TV sitcom Frasier with him several times. Far from seeing this as time wasted, or a somehow empty shared experience, Maolsheachlann argues that it was a celebration of ordinary life, and that sitcoms can be truly magical immersions in the ordinariness of the lives we have in common, and the simple dignity of the individual.

08

Sifting for gold in Greece and Rome

Far from rejecting the pagan culture that surrounded them, the Christians of Antiquity had a sophisticated approach to it, writes Fr Conor McDonough. Although there was much in it that struck them as cruel and immoral, they engaged with it as sincerely, thoughtfully, and creatively as they could, engaging in what might now be termed cultural appropriation rather than rejecting the surrounding culture wholesale.

09

Liturgical Living

There’s nothing ‘ordinary’ about the Church’s Ordinary Time, writes Maria Connolly, who notes how the Church’s calendar is jam-packed with days celebrating all manner of saints through June and July, modelling all manner of paths to sanctity. Familiarising ourselves with those who have run the race before us is a useful way of working with the Church’s calendar, and something that can be fun for those of us with children.

10

Round Table – Catholic schools: what’s the point?

Catholic schools are an ubiquitous part of Ireland’s social, religious, and educational landscape, and are a constant subject of controversy nowadays, with some contesting whether dioceses and parishes should be allowed run the schools they own, and heated debate being common around relationships and sexual education programmes. But what does the Church hope to achieve by running schools? In societies where the State provides for education, what are Catholic schools for? Greg Daly speaks to four experts in the area from Ireland and abroad, to explore what it is that a Catholic education should offer.

11

The best possible world?

The Church’s social teachings offer a vital toolkit to build a better future for Northern Ireland, writes Dr Maria Power. With the Covid pandemic having forced so much into a standstill for so long, in a way that has highlighted the unsustainability of old ways of doing things, there is an opportunity now to build a shared future that embraces a Biblical understanding of justice through Christ’s focus on who our neighbours truly are.

12

Monkish lights in modern darkness

Celtic and Benedictine monks lived lives built around work and prayer, with a deep commitment to hospitality, writes Ross Ahlfeld. Though the likes of Columba and Benedict himself are long gone, they’ve left behind legacies both of living successors and evocative ruins, both of which can inspire modern Christian movements that seek to rejuvenate ossified and desiccated societies from within.

13

Arousing the conscience

Genocide is happening in China today, and it falls to us as Christians to wake up to this reality, and to try to rouse the consciences of others too, writes Cian Flaherty. Sceptical that the Irish government will, left to its own devices, use its position on the United Nations Security Council to call for global solidarity with the persecuted Uyghurs, he details a range of ways that we can do something – anything – to highlight this terrible crime.

14

Sanctity’s supernatural signals

Miracle stories acted as proofs of holiness in the medieval biographies of Ireland’s early saints, according to Dr Ellen Ganly. Tales of miracles, which can be best understood by dividing them up into different categories or motifs, were used to underline the holiness and importance of saints, and were used to distinguish between saints in a way that contributed to the growth of Christianity in Ireland.

15

Not by bread alone – July

Taking time out from the tyranny of our everyday pressures is something the Bible recognises as especially important, writes Sr Eleanor Campion. Genesis’ emphasis on the Sabbath is an obvious example of this, and Jesus himself urges his followers to come away to a lonely place and rest. This can be frightening – we can fear being alone with God – but it is only through resting in God’s silence that we allow his seeds to grow within us.

16

Interview – A time for every matter under Heaven

Despite its name, Francis Spufford’s 2012 book Unapologetic has fair claim to be described as the best popular apologetic in decades; now, with his second novel, Light Perpetual, the Anglican writer explores the nature of time, the sense that there is more to reality than easily meets the eye, and the value and potential in all of our lives. He talks to Leaven about C.S. Lewis, forgiveness, attention as love, and the surprising beauty of repetition.

17

Public projects and the common good

As a civil engineer, Phoebe Watson finds it’s something of an occupational hazard to be told of unusual obstacles to public projects, but a tale of obstructive otters struck her as something that needed further investigation. In truth, she says, if we know where to look we’ll regularly find projects are carefully considered in advance, but even then it falls to us to consider infrastructural work with an eye to how the common good is best served.

18

Silver hairs on the silver screen

Ours is a throwaway society, where old age is too easily denigrated and old people are too easily cast aside or forgotten, writes Ronan Doheny. Despite this, he says, the Church has consistently underlined both the inherent value of all human lives and the specific gifts that old people have to offer. Perhaps surprisingly, he says, there are quite a few films that illustrate these points in entertaining and artistically stunning ways.

19

‘Let us now praise famous men’

While deeply impressed, in the main, by Pope Francis’s new book Let Us Dream, Dr Julie Daly argues that his comments on the toppling of statues hit a false note. Far from these being exercises in the eradication of history, attempts to remove statues often speak of serious engagements with history, grappling with what exactly is worthy of commemorating, and why.

20

Thinking outside the ballot box

Too often, writes Ben Conroy, we think of politics in narrow terms, focused on political parties and the rare chances ordinary voters get to vote. In truth, he says, there’s much more to politics than this, and in some ways the formal acts of politics are the least important parts of what it is to be a political animal. If we’re serious about politics, he argues, we need to broaden our understanding of what politics is.
Leaven Magazine Issue 2
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Covering topics as broad as the universe...

A video introduction to Volume 1, Issue 2 of Leaven Magazine presented by editor Greg Daly.

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Plough Quarterly Live Forum
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Tues June 15, 8:00 EDT
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Architecture of Rome

Master's Gallery Rome Online Lecture:

With Francesca Barberini
Wednesday June 16th at 3pm ET
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Volume 1 Issue 1

Leaven Magazine

01

From the Editor

02

Interview: A Revolutionary Myth

03

Hearing God in the Silence and Darkness

04

Interview: Heavens that tell the Glory of God

05

Not by Bread Alone

06

1916: Revisited

07

Putting Evil in Proportion

08

The Sword of the Spirit

09

Parlour Games in the Jury Room

10

Not by Bread Alone

11

Round Table: Catholic Social Teaching

12

Against Political Fashions

13

Liturgical Living

14

Interview: Shoots Grown from Roots

15

Mercy’s Appalling Strangeness

16

Review: Peering into our Pagan Past

17

Running on Vibes in the Caucasus

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