CRISIS provides information and comment on the Arts from a broad Christian perspective.  Within this outline CRISIS concerns itself with the general Arts field. Material is welcomed and should be sent to a.jasper! Material cannot be taken in longhand or in a form that needs to be retyped, unless in letter form, and not more than 200 words.
At present there is no recompense offered for submitted subject matter.  At this moment Crisis is a personally funded site. Space is offered to any charity, but full information and background of the charity is needed.  Advertisement material is welcomed and the cost of using this space can be obtained by writing to the email address given earlier. Copy within this magazine is copyright, although depending on the writer, permission may be given for reproduction. Correspondence on any subject springing from copy is welcomed. The editor reserves the right to shorten material should this be necessary.

EDITOR : Tony Jasper.


  1. Comment
  2. Book Special
  3. Contemporary Music
  4. Theatre
  5. Sermon


It seems every issue of Crisis has ‘death’ somewhere in its columns. To the recent Whitney Houston and Donna Summer copy, and that is to  name but two, so we add Robin Gibb. The singer, songwriter, of the Bee Gees did record an album of Christmas songs, but it would seem there is little to suggest Faith played a` direct and influential part in his life. Musically Robin, and the brothers, have coloured pop history with some great records, not least in a dance idiom Word magazine in a good obit in its July issue quote Robin saying: “We never heard the word disco; we just wrote groove songs you could harmonise to, and with great melodies.”

As at the time of writing Clive James remains alive, but far from well. James simply disappeared from the media scene, and the answer as to why was suddenly there. The Guardian ran the headline ‘Clive James: ‘I’m getting near the end’. Sadly James has B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, ass well as obstructive pulmonary disease.

James has no faith. His view on belief is strident. He is recorded saying: ”religions are advertising agencies for a product that doesn’t exist.”  James has been one of the most foremost commentators on current culture. It is reckoned he has written at least 34 novels, long poems, collections of essays and criticism, five volumes of autobiography and more.
Who has not benefited from his written work, and not least the many appearances on radio and television. We wish him well.

Magazines are often assembled and off to print weeks before they make their appearance, and so mostly miss out on the stories of the moment., as was the case with the death of Whitney Houston. The story and saga of the great singer made the June issue. Interesting to note that suddenly everyone ha dropped the PR around Whitney and lurched into the grim realities of the path she sadly chose.The magazine Vanity Dare was pretty much to the point in writing “While the glory of her voice propelled Whitney Houston into the pop stratosphere, her demons kept dragging her down, a powerful undertow of drugs and toxic relationships.” ”And said, the writer, Mark Seal, there were the prayers and the parties.

Meantime in June, The Guardian G2 focussed on
Mitch, the father of Amy Winehouse and headlined his words, ‘It’s tragic, but I must make the best of it.” He’s penned a` book about his precious daughter Amy. Interestingly he makes the point that on the last night of her life she didn’t seem depressed, singing and playing drums. She  was talking about marriage with her film producer boyfriend, Reg Travis.
My Daughter by Mitch Winehouse was published by Collins on 5 July.

Religious books
Books that have influenced
Books of the moment
Book Focus -  from Harriet with Love


  1. Subversive Obedience: Truth telling and the Art of Preaching.. Walter Brueggemann and K.C.Hanson (SCM)
  2. The Worship Mall: Contemporary response to Contemporary Culture. Bryan D. Spinks. (SPCK).\
  3. Rheinhold Niebuhr Revisisted: Engagements with an American original (Eerdmans/Alban)
  4. Christians in the 21st Century -  George D. Chryssider and Margaret  Z. Wilkins (Equinox)
  5. Voices from the Borderland  - Chris Shannahan (Equinox)
  6. The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning – Jonathan Sachs (Hodder).
  7. Justification : A Guide for the Perplexed. Alan J. Spence (Continuum).


We asked Jane Wade, a poet and writer, to list her team of influential writers and  books that have influenced her. She was not allowed to name  Bible writers, Shakespearian plays, and  directly religious listed titles. At a future date we will ask some people to name important religious books that have , and perhaps changed their Christian and religious faith.


1.  Deborah Devonshire - Wait for me! - Memoirs of the youngest Mitford Sister Published in 2010 by John Murray (Publishers)

2. Charles Dickens - A Life - by Claire Tomalin
Published 2011 by Penguin Books Ltd.

3. The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky
Published as a translation from French by Chatto and Windus 2011 (Original in French from 1935)

4. Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster
Published 2007 by Arrow Books

5. Eva Cassidy - Songbird -  The story by those that knew her - by Rob Burley and Jonathan Maitland
Published 2001 by Orion Books Ltd.

6. An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
Published 1999 by Phoenix House - an imprint of Orion Books Ltd.

7. In Tearing Haste  - Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor -
Edited by Charlotte Mosley
Published 2008 by John Murray (Publishers)

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published 2010 by Penguin Books

9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Published 2002 by Canongate Books Ltd.

10. Toast - the story of a boy's hunger by Nigel Slater
Published 2003 by Fourth Estate  - a Division of Harper Collins Publishers

11. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published 2007 by Doubleday - a Division of Tansworld Publishers