Author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • RELIGION

    New Year dreams of a better world

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 January 2018
    10 Comments

    The beginning of the year is traditionally a time to look beyond the messiness of the past year, to imagine a larger and more generous life, and to make good resolutions. It is also a time for reflecting on the character of public life and to ask whether we find there any large vision of a better world. And, indeed, to ask whether we should look for one.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Bishop Long at the Royal Commission

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 January 2018
    7 Comments

    Vincent Long's testimony was notable for its directness, honesty and the awareness it displayed of the importance of church culture. Long grew up in the Vietnamese Catholic Church and was afterwards chosen to lead the Australian Church. In his responses he focused on clericalism and its role in giving license and cover to clerical abuse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Society pays a heavy price for jailing children

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2017
    3 Comments

    We may feel momentary relief that a dangerous little villain is being dealt with. But the cost of imprisonment is heavy: a malleable child whose path might have changed is stunted in their development and sent to a preparatory school likely to graduate to a lifetime in adult prisons.

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  • RELIGION

    Food for imagination in Christmas stories and art

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2017
    7 Comments

    The embroidery on the Gospel stories shows that, like the painter and the refugees treading through the dust and heat of the road to Egypt, God dreams of a peaceful world in which people and nature live at peace, villages are well watered, trees cared for, grapes hang in bunches, refugee children are fed, and angels help make art.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Legislation is no substitute for respect

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2017
    11 Comments

    The government has appointed a panel to report what legislation may be necessary to safeguard religious rights in light of changes to marriage laws. Given the conflictual nature of public conversation, it may be helpful to step back and to reflect on human rights more generally.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    With remembrance goes compassion: Manus

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2017
    21 Comments

    The refugees on Manus Island are not simply actors in a dramatic poem. They are human beings like us to whom we have a responsibility. They could have enriched us by their ingenuity and bravery had we accepted them. We should continue to listen to their voices and keep them in our hearts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal voices in 'the good country'

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 November 2017
    4 Comments

    Turnbull has been widely criticised for refusing a recommendation by the Referendum Council to enshrine a national Indigenous representative council, saying it was 'contrary to the principles of equality and citizenship'. A recent book provides a rich perspective for reflecting on his decision.

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  • RELIGION

    Muslim forgiveness jars circle of prejudice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2017
    5 Comments

    Last week we saw the magnanimity and depth of Raeed Darwiche. While travelling in the hearse carrying the body of Jihad, his eight year old son, he pleaded for an end to the vituperation directed at Maha Al-Shennag, whose car had crushed his son. Darwiche appealed to his Islamic faith in explaining why he forgave Al-Shennag.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Among the gods of the Melbourne Cup

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 November 2017
    9 Comments

    More recently, Mammon has dominated the Melbourne Cup. It has been targeted by wealthy international owners and stables who buy up the most likely stayers in order to buy the result. It has also been used by corporations to fuel their engines of misery that suck money and life out of many Australian families.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The gift of the shell and the empty box

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 October 2017
    2 Comments

    Brenda Niall's biographies characteristically begin with simple and enigmatic stories, whose significance becomes clearer as the book develops. This exploration of her grandmother's life takes its point of departure in two of her possessions. The first is a wooden box made for Aggie Maguire by her brother as they sailed to Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Finding dignity in two pavilions of dying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2017
    13 Comments

    I am struck by the difference between these two kinds of reflection on life and death. It seems to lie in the articulacy of the appeal to be able to die under favourable conditions and the inarticulacy of those celebrated at Ozanam House. They had died as modestly and wordlessly as they had lived.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ending poverty is a human challenge, not a technical one

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 October 2017
    7 Comments

    The difficulty inherent in the metaphor of eradication is that it sees poverty as a discrete object that exists independently of the people whom it affects, and that can be dealt with by devising technical solutions. It ignores the complex sets of relationships that constitute poverty as a human reality.

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