Author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • RELIGION

    Aid work grounded in good relationships

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2018
    9 Comments

    The reports of sexual exploitation by officers of aid organisations illustrate the truth of Aristotle's dictum that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. The factors that contribute to such behaviour are complex. They illustrate the constant need for self-reflection personally and in organisations, especially when doing good works.

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  • RELIGION

    Why clericalism matters

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 February 2018
    81 Comments

    In the Catholic Church clericalism is the whipping boy of choice. But what it embraces is less clear. It is a pejorative word, used by people of others but never of themselves, and is normally defined by reference to examples of it. It is worth pausing to reflect on clericalism and its significance for church and society.

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  • RELIGION

    Matching action to social justice rhetoric

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 February 2018
    9 Comments

    The World Day of Social Justice greets a year when social justice is returning to favour. Bank executives begin to own their social responsibilities. Liberal economics begin to be seen, not as the condition for a productive economy but as a barrier to it. That is the rhetoric. For governments, though, it is business as usual.

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  • RELIGION

    Rising from the ruins of 2010 Mass translation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 February 2018
    46 Comments

    In Christian churches the celebration of liturgy is always contentious. Fr Gerald O'Collins' latest book deals with a relatively small and domestic issue: the ingeniously engineered launch and spluttering subsidence of a revised English Catholic Mass translation. Though small, the events carry a large symbolic weight.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't let the Apology's great hope die

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 February 2018
    7 Comments

    Ten years have passed since the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on behalf of Parliament and the nation. It seems longer. It was a time of great hope. Today, with respect to Indigenous affairs as to much else, fewer people hold great hope that anything good can come out of Canberra.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gerroa Jack's irreplaceable gift

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 January 2018
    12 Comments

    It is tempting to say that Jack and his mates should cease from their work and press the local council or state government to take responsibility for cleaning the beach, so obviating the need for volunteers. The council does indeed provide and empty rubbish bins at various entry points to the beach. But imagine what might be lost.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Attacks on 'lenient' judges harm society

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2018
    12 Comments

    Alarm at supposed youth gangs in Australia is not new. But the current response to claimed Sudanese gangs has a fresh and disturbing aspect: the attack by politicians and their media allies on judges and magistrates for lenient sentences and the granting of bail. Such attacks have harmful consequences.

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  • RELIGION

    New Year dreams of a better world

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 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
    • 08 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
    • 13 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
    • 12 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
    • 06 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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