Author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • MEDIA

    In defence of 'court jester' Mark Knight

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 September 2018
    1 Comment

    The tradition of court jesters licensed to criticise the king exists in many cultures. It is part of a broader tolerance of satire in which the foibles and sins of the great can be safely criticised. The Shakespearian fools are typical in representing the view of the common man as he speaks truth to power. Printed cartoons stand in this tradition.

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  • RELIGION

    Disturbing the sound of the Pope's silence

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 September 2018
    16 Comments

    Many commentators have claimed Pope Francis' sustained silence in response to accusations made by Vatican official Archbishop Viganò has been catastrophic for his reputation and popularity. In a recent article, Francis' biographer claims his response is not intended to be politically strategic but is made at a deeper religious level.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons in humanity from the Turnbull coup

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2018
    13 Comments

    If human beings are diminished, they usually respond badly. When politicians are not engaged with shaping a better society they quarrel about slogans that are detached from larger goals, or about goals that they have abandoned in pursuit of economic purity. Then they turn on one another.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Giving suicide grief centre stage

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2018
    1 Comment

    The play began in work with people who have survived suicide and who are helped to move beyond isolation and stigma by speaking about it in an encouraging environment. It helps those who watch it to break down taboos that might make them shrink from people whose relatives and friends have taken their own lives.

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  • RELIGION

    When religious language turns public

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 August 2018
    10 Comments

    When conversation in a community is restricted to the public language of broader society, its power to engage community members is diminished. That has happened in the development of a theology of religions within Christian churches. It often emphasises themes that unite religions and are less specifically and distinctively Christian.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Banking on the common good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 August 2018
    7 Comments

    If trustees don't understand the meaning of trustworthiness, all the penalties in the world won't encourage them to act in a trustworthy manner. What is needed is conversion — the recognition that the good of each individual depends on their seeking the common good, and the determination to ensure that this vision permeates corporations.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Young men finding words and worth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 August 2018
    23 Comments

    The path to adulthood is a process of learning words, coming to use them discriminatingly and discovering their resonance in relationships and in work. Where young people grow up in a world without stable relationships or words to negotiate the world, their education is likely to be an experience of alienation and rejection.

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  • RELIGION

    Soup van's history of holy risk-taking

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 July 2018
    11 Comments

    The Fitzroy Soup Van is in good hands because its people recognise the tension between the need for compliance with security and safety regulations and the call to draw close to people whose lives are lived beyond those boundaries.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Our government is not family-friendly

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 July 2018
    20 Comments

    These changes make political claims to be family-friendly purely rhetorical. Family values do not shape government policies. Often, governments act not to nurture families and protect the traditions of western civilisation but to devastate families and trample on inherited traditions.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons in compassion from Thai cave rescue

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 July 2018
    19 Comments

    Their resilience speaks of a strong Buddhist culture in which the boys were used to struggle, found meaning in attending to the welfare of others rather than their own, and drew strength from meditative practices that set their perilous predicament within a broader human horizon.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Whatever happened to 'kindness to strangers'?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2018
    14 Comments

    It has become clear that the brutal Australian treatment of people who seek protection is part of an international punitive policy. This is sometimes attributed to a failure of political leadership. But it may reflect a deeper cultural change in the Western attitude to strangers, seen in migrant and refugee policy, penal policy, international relations and the scope of the rule of law.

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  • MEDIA

    Eureka Street is not 'lefty' but reformist

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 June 2018
    43 Comments

    Those of us who write regular columns have little time for introspection. We are too busy getting up the next article. But we are frequently prompted, sometimes by our disappointed readers, to ask what we are up to. Every now and then our readers deserve a personal response.

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