President Michael D Higgins and Chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin during the President’s three-day State visit last week. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Ireland’s early diplomacy with Germany didn’t end well in 689 AD. Kilian, a Cavan-born missionary, annoyed a Würzburg noblewoman for suggesting she wa(...)

A new university club is set to replace the member-run common room at University College Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

It has seen a number of taoisigh, tanaistí and government ministers, more than a few diplomats, and certainly a good number of academic visitors from (...)

Pope Francis meeting President Michael D Higgins at the Vatican last May: The Catholic Church came late to the awareness of the value of Church-State separation and the autonomy of the secular. Photograph: PA Wire

Is it time to reboot the relationship between religious believers and atheists? Recent years have been characterised by noisy and often self-defeating(...)

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley holds a photo of a victim of the Syrian chemical attack at a meeting of the  Security Council. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Faced with the appalling use of chemical weapons in Syria against civilians, including children, the familiar pattern of initial outrage gives way to (...)

The late French philosopher Paul Ricoeur:  religions  can be “driven and invigorated by the unkept promises of their own histories of foundation”.  Photograph:Juerg Mueller/AP/Keystone/

In the past 20 years, the place of religion in the public sphere has been discussed from multiple angles. On the continent, French, Italian and German(...)

‘Juncker’s initiative seeks to wrest power back to the Commission by invoking European values and citizenship norms. His argument that these values express the preferences of most Europeans echoes voices of leadership from other leaders such as Angela Merkel (above) and seems to resonate strongly with changing public opinion throughout the continent.’ Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Karl Kraus, the brilliant and iconoclastic Viennese journalist, used the front page of his paper Die Fackel in 1920 to print the names of those who ha(...)

“The currency union will remain instable as long as it is not complemented with a banking, fiscal and economics union,” philosopher Juergen Habermas has written in German newspaper  the Süddeutsche Zeitung. File photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has accused Angela Merkel of undermining the European Union and its common currency by putting investor interests a(...)

A convoy of East German cars queue up at Unter den Linden avenue in East Berlin before crossing the border line under the Brandenburg Gate into West Berlin as a result of the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 11th, 1989. Photograph: Derrick Ceyrac/AFP/ Getty Images

‘We are pleased that German unification is taking place under a European roof”. These words from the conclusions of the European Communities summit in(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has backed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president. Photograph: Maurizio Gambarini/EPA

German chancellor Angela Merkel has backed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president just three days after declining to do so in Brussels.(...)

St Patrick’s Day is an occasion of national celebration. But is the nation state itself deserving of applause? The crisis in Ukraine is just th(...)

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