Andrew Brown

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Full name: Andrew Brown

Area of interest: Biology, Religion, Technology (especially where they overlap)

Journals/Organisation: The Guardian


Personal website:


Blogs: Helmintholog | Cif/Andrew Brown's blog (about) | Cif/belief

Representation: Capel and Land





Career: The Spectator: Scandinavian correspondent and chief reporter, early 1980's; The Independent: Religious Affairs Correspondent, also wrote parliamentary sketches, leaders, and assorted think pieces, 1986/1996; full-time freelance journalist, 1996-present, having written for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Church Times

Current position/role: Freelance journalist, author. Editor of Comment is free / Belief

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities:


Viewpoints/Insight: Who am I? (

Broadcast media:

Video: Wrote and presented BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme, see also BBC Radio 4 'Analysis' Database kept by (The Arts and Humanities Data Service)


Awards/Honours: While at The Independent, won the inaugural John Templeton European Religion Writer of the Year Award, 1994 - given for religious writing in the secular press; shortlisted for the Aventis science book prize for 'In the beginning was the worm'



Books & Debate:

Andrew Brown Fishing in Utopia.jpg
  • Watching the detectives OCLC 18869864 , 1988
  • The Darwin wars: the scientific battle for the soul of man OCLC 42699842 , 2000
  • In the beginning was the worm: finding the secrets of life in a tiny hermaphrodite OCLC 52251313 , 2003

Latest work: Sweden: The Future that Disappeared OCLC 243938747, 2008



The Guardian

Column name:

Remit/Info: religious issues

Section: articles and print articles




Website: Comment is free / Andrew Brown

Commissioning editor:

Day published:


Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

  • Pope's visit: Moral absolutes and crumbling empires - Rebellion against the pope was the foundational act of English power yet now the pope stands in Westminster Hall - 18th September
  • Sex and the archbishop - Installing the openly gay Jeffrey John as bishop would be a decisive victory for Rowan Williams. But if he's beaten, he's finished - 6th July
  • The multicultural Christian right - The launch of a Christian programme for the general election and beyond is a significant political development, not a good one - 6th April
  • The pontiff is not so potent - The shape of the world's oldest living bureaucracy, the Catholic church, is very much misunderstood - 31st March
  • No feeling for snow - There is a distinct shortage of romance and excitement about snow in countries, such as Sweden, where it's common - 6th January

Articles: 2009

  • Swedish church not so gay-friendly - Church of Sweden members have voted to allow gay weddings, but it's not quite the liberal breakthrough it seems - 26th October
  • Proclaiming prosperity - At a charismatic meeting in north London, Pastor Dollar spread the word that poverty was a demon whose back could be broken - 22nd August
  • Enemies of creationism may be hindering science teachers - A US judge's ruling is a warning to those who want to teach real science in schools that they need to change their tactics - 12th May
  • The last consolation - For heaven's sake, let the dying have their hospital chaplains - 8th April
  • A fish called Colin - Clever of Sainsbury's to reel in the media with its rebrand of pollack, but supermarket white fish all tastes the same anyway - 7th April
  • Good King Google - Newspapers are peasants in the digital kingdom - at least its ruler appears to be fairly benevolent - 11th March
  • The secret of Twitter's success - The most social of social networking sites offers gossip without distractions – which turns out to be surprisingly valuable - 18th February 2009
  • You can't teach the Bible as literature - The Bible can't be taught as culture: either it is a living store of myth or it will shrivel, to be replaced by other myths - 17th February 2009

Articles: 2008

  • Greed is not good, says God - Bishops denouncing the government are nothing new. But people are now listening to sermons on the evil of debt - 29th December 2008
  • Goodbye herons, hello celebrity - The new version of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, which favours creeps over chapels, makes depressing reading - 10th December 2008
  • Religion: the resurrection - Not long ago, organised faith seemed to be on its last legs. Now it is again a force to be reckoned with - 28th October 2008
  • A comment policy for Cif belief - 27th October 2008
  • Welcome to the belief blog - Hello, and welcome to the wonderful wacky world of God. This is a blog about believers and the workings of belief in the world - 1st October 2008
  • The red archbishop? - Rowan Williams takes a different stand to Marx, but they share one unshakeable conviction: that capitalism tends towards evil - 25th September 2008
  • Faith schools: is there really a better option? - Not unless we want to see some children achieve less than they otherwise might for the sake of social cohesion - 1st September 20008
  • Till debts do us part? - Modern weddings are more expensive than ever. Why? Because nothing says I love you like a dress that costs as much as a car - 23rd August 2008
  • Infamous empathy - It is ridiculous to demand that we feel the pain of people of whom we know nothing - and to blame religion for human 'selfishness' - 16th August 2008
  • The religion of politics - For some, the notion of an amoral world is not in conflict with hope. But what happens when politics appropriates faith and morality? - 12th August 2008
  • Dr Williams' contortions - The Archbishop of Canterbury can argue with simplicity and force, but his approach to homosexuality is hopelessly tangled - 7th August 2008
  • Super-bishops fly in - I don't agree with opponents of female bishops. But their anger is understandable, given the promises they were made - 7th July 2008
  • Pennies for heaven - The Church of England relies heavily on its collection plate to fund each diocese – but a threat to solvency is threatening tolerance - 5th July 2008
  • Meet the Focas - They want you to like them. But are they the kind of people liberal Anglicans will be able to have a nice cup of tea with? - 30th June 2008
  • The Anglican culture wars - Gafcon's bishops have chosen to shout about homosexuality yet again. But are they also gearing up for a clash with Islam? - 24th June 2008
  • The uses of unreason - I disagree with Robert Skidelsky: we will need more than rationality to manage our future resources. A quasi-religious common purpose is vital - 21st May 2008
  • Literacy before laptops -Technology alone cannot lift people out of poverty, as the collapse of a well-meaning computer scheme shows - 18th May 2008
  • Faithless Einstein - The physicist did not believe in God - but nor did he really believe in atheism - 13th May 2008
  • Prayers for the fearful - It's not necessarily faith that makes people attend church. In the past, a sense of threat has also kept the numbers up - 8th May 2008
  • A misunderstood urinal - Duchamps made people reconsider art - but as a recent court case underlines, not in the way he hoped - 5th May 2008
  • Science for citizens - We talk of the need for informed debate, but debates about science can't be informed if we don't know what a photon is - 11th April 2008
  • Particulaly divine? - Physicists are on the verge of discovering a particle that may unlock the secrets of the universe. But it won't bring us closer to God - 9th April 2008
  • Va va vroom - The sex scandal that has engulfed formula one's boss isn't going to require his departure because the sport is already morally hollow - 4th April 2008
  • Religious standards - Of course teaching creationism as fact is wrong, but multifaith schools could take the best from many moral compasses - 25th March 2008
  • Can the Dalai Lama resign? - How can someone recognised as the reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion "resign"? - 20th March 2008
  • Who should civilise children? - If children are lacking basic moral guidance, how can parents or schools, provided with little themselves by government, show by example? - 11th March 2008
  • Faith, hope and human rights - Those who say the teaching of religious belief to the young is a form of child abuse are blinded to human rights - 26th February 2008
  • We need the Church of England - Only an established church, with a duty to everyone in this country, can truly dampen conflicts and division - (series: The Islamic law debate) - 21st February 2008
  • A very Anglican resurrection - After three days of being buried in opprobrium for his remarks about sharia, Rowan Willams has risen again to fight another day - (series: The Islamic law debate) - 11th February 2008
  • Misjudgment that made martyrs of others - 9th February 2008
  • Laws of the land - Dr Rowan Williams is interested in what sharia actually says. The rest of the country is more interested in whether and how it might be enforced - (series: The Islamic law debate) - 7th February 2008
  • The naked truth - In Liberia, a former general has found God and admitted the error of his previous, murderous ways. Is it really that simple? - 29th January 2008
  • Cif and the end of civilisation - Does the breakdown of manners in Britain, especially on the internet, really mean we are a more selfish society? - 28th January 2008
  • Living on a prayer - Divine providence riles me, but I must accept my friend's belief in God's purpose because the evidence is woven into his life - 20th January 2008
  • A narrow church - The Church of England has lost its traditional social framework. It may yet come to stand for an England that is, above all, not a Muslim country - 7th January 2008
  • Dither on, Williams - The Archbishop of Canterbury was never one for diktats. Now his inaction has let those who would split the church get into a fine mess - 3rd January 2008

The Guardian:

Column name: Read me first

Remit/Info: Technology and the internet and arising issues for users (columns from Nick Carr, Seth Finkelstein and Andrew Brown) - for recent articles goto: Read me first

Section: Technology news and features section

Role: Columnist



Website: Read me first

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Thursday

Regularity: Weekly, with Andrew Brown contributions every third week

Column format:

Average length: 650/700 words

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2007/2008

News & updates: