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Stephen Tomkins
stephen tomkins' loose canons
HERE'S A THIN LINE between saintliness and madness. In this regular column, Stephen Tomkins tells the stories of people who have crossed the line in both directions. Here are inspiring tales of holy folly that laugh in the face of human wisdom – and also breathtaking examples of religious stupidity that fly in the face of common sense. Which is which? Well, dear surfer, that's up to you to decide.

The latest Loose Canon

> End-time prophet (and Messiah's Mum)

Previous Loose Canons

> Sleeping preachers
> The Scrooge's saintly daughter
> It's St Christina the Astonishing
> Agatha and Azenor: bosom buddies
> St Wilgefortis and her miraculous beard
> Boniface: interfaith dialogue wasn't his thing
> Meet St Aelhaiarn, the snooping saint
> Was John XII the worst-ever Pope?
> Brother Juniper, walking disaster
> The prostitutes' padre
> The Bishop of Cyprus and his miraculous mules
> From Russia with debauchery
> No heaven, no hell, no morals... yes, it's the Ranters!
> Syria's upwardly mobile saint
> Smith & Moroni (deceased)
> The worst vicar of all time?
> The Bristol Blasphemer
> The Monster of Münster
> The Pope who wouldn't stay in his grave
> The hermit who redistributed temptation
> The Vegetarian's Vegetarian
> Dean of Hereford in love romp
> The bathwater Messiah
> Mr Spurgeon takes a holy smoke
> No eggs, no milk, no sex... yes, it's the Cathars!
> The hero of Christendom (and his holy nightshirt)
> The theologian who trashed his theology
> Apocalypse on the rectory lawn, 1694
> Brother Juniper and the legless pig
st simeon
St Simeon
Don't forget to pay your respects to our patron saint, St Simeon the Holy Fool.
a short history of christianity
Stephen Tomkins is the author of A Short History of Christianity and several other books.
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