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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and Australia’s social justice agenda

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 October 2013

    'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Father Bob, dissident prophet

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 17 October 2013
    20 Comments

    Father Bob is cast in a similar mould to Peter Kennedy and Bill Morris, those other earthy Australian clerics who according to the popular narrative were suppressed by the hierarchy for flouting outdated practices. This is an appealing narrative for a secular public that has become disillusioned with institutional religion, especially due to the sexual abuse crisis and inequitable practices regarding marriage and the role of women within the hierarchy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2013

    After a successful federal election the Nationals are nestled in a comfortable governing relationship as the junior partner of the Liberals. They can laugh at all those critics who for so long have predicted their demise. But they are out of sight. They could make an important contribution to the diversity of the Australian party system, but although the surface picture looks rosy it is at the cost of greatly diminished independence.

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  • RELIGION

    Has the Catholic Church in Australia any credibility left?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 October 2013
    18 Comments

    'What a pope; what a man! ... The credibility of the Catholic Church has been enhanced with this new pope. We see in him many of the finest aspects of the presently battered and ageing Church.' Frank Brennan's presentation for Spirituality in the Pub, Pumphouse Hotel, Fitzroy, Vic. on 2 October 2013.

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  • EDUCATION

    Equipping students for moral argument

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 September 2013

    Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    The Pope who put a spring in our step

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 September 2013
    11 Comments

    Fasten your seat belts. We are in for an exciting ride with this Pope. He's happy to make mistakes. He's happy to go with the flow. But above all, he is so happy in his own skin and in his religious tradition that he exudes the confidence that comes only from knowing that he is loved and forgiven, and not from thinking that he is always right and has all the answers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Shaky grounds for just war in Syria

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 September 2013
    6 Comments

    The proposed military action against Syria lacks justification. Even if the cause for it were just, it would be vitiated by the lack of proportion between the limited good secured by it and the increased violence and sectarian division that will surely follow. That the strong should do what they can and the weak suffer what they must is real politik. But it should not be dignified with the name of justice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Philosophy of falling

    • Ailsa Piper
    • 18 September 2013
    9 Comments

    Waters fall. So does night. We fall asleep, sometimes because staying awake is too painful. Soldiers fall, and we mourn them. They are boys, many of them, so fall-able. We fall into love, and out of it again, like it is some dark hole. We forget that love should be about rising, because we have fallen back onto cliché. We go through life as though we will always be upright, and when we fall, it hurts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election day reflections on religion in the public square

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 September 2013
    12 Comments

    How clever of you to choose the day of the federal election for me to offer these reflections.  I come amongst you, not as a publisher or journalist but as an advocate in the public square animated by my own religious tradition as a Jesuit and Catholic priest engaged on human rights issues in a robustly pluralistic democratic society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    International law cannot justify attack on Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 30 August 2013
    7 Comments

    For the second time in a little over ten years, the US and its allies seem about to launch hostilities against an Arab country on the basis of the possession or use of chemical weapons. They have made clear that while they may seek a Security Council resolution, they do not consider themselves bound by it. This is worrying.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Syria not so far away from our election

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 28 August 2013
    5 Comments

    A source quoted on a TV news report said the forthcoming Liberal Party attack ads would 'make the Somme look like a Sunday afternoon picnic'. Crass and disrespectful of the victims of the First World War killing ground, the remark saw fit to compare our political process to a mindless slaughter. Similarly, in Labor's Grim Reaper style ads, hapless 'victims' of Coalition policies are consigned to oblivion.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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