keywords: Greece

  • RELIGION

    Reflections of a church tourist

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 05 June 2019
    16 Comments

    Architecture is not my strong suit, but I admire the beauty of walls and ceilings, the decorations, and the idiosyncrasies such as little sculptures invisible to congregations and visitors, but made in faith that God could see them. The history, the thought of generations of worshippers, the numerous associations: these are other things that fascinate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On first reading Boochani on Manus

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 May 2019
    10 Comments

    No Friend But the Mountains deservedly won an Australian prize but was considered ineligible for others because the writer was not Australian. The book itself mocks that exclusion. Boochani's years on Manus Island branded him as Australian in the same way African slaves became American by the brand American owners burned on to them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beware the election campaign hobgoblins

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 11 April 2019
    7 Comments

    The American writer H. L. Mencken said the aim of politics is 'to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary'. Over the years there have been many hobgoblins of varying sizes and shapes, and this election campaign promsies to be no different.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coming and going in Greece and Australia

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 March 2019
    8 Comments

    That leaden weight in my chest is back. My self-diagnosis is heartache, and once upon a time I thought I'd get to the stage at which this heaviness would leave me for good, but I know now that this is never going to happen, at least not as long as I am engaged in my back-and-forth movements between Greece and Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Prayers of connection and disconnection

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 March 2019
    12 Comments

    I've recently been reading about people who disconnect in radical ways, or else manage a balancing act between connection with society and disconnection. The recently deceased Sister Wendy Beckett was one such. So too is Brother Harold Palmer who, like Sister Wendy, began his seclusion in a caravan.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    EU's dirty dealings with Libya over refugees

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 12 February 2019
    4 Comments

    If refugees drown in the Mediterranean, scrutiny is directed towards Europe. If the deaths happen in Libya, the EU is able to manipulate human rights rhetoric alongside the bloc's concerns. Meanwhile, it remains committed to its deals with the Libyan coastguard, which is fuelling its fair share of human trafficking and exploitation.

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  • RELIGION

    Epiphany defeats hobgoblin evil

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2019
    8 Comments

    One reason for the importance of Epiphany in Eastern Orthodoxy is the belief that Christmas is a period during which the world is threatened by various wicked spirits, most particularly the kallikantzaroi, the spirits of the dead: at this time they emerge from Hades (via a cave not too far from where I live) and roam the Earth.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Christmas carol for a divided world

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 December 2018
    2 Comments

    In this season, I usually re-read A Christmas Carol, that timeless tour de force of the Dickensian imagination. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to the shops, where the former restores good humour to squabbling delivery boys. For, they said, it was a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia misses GCM boat, but it's not too late

    • Carolina Gottardo
    • 19 December 2018
    4 Comments

    To abandon the GCM is a loss for all migrant women, men and children affected by human mobility, and creates a strong signal that Australia no longer deems multilateralism as an appropriate approach to global challenges.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scenes from the Land of Frankincense

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 December 2018
    2 Comments

    How delightful to see this country's mosques suffused with the scent of frankincense — not just on celebratory days, but always. And what a surprise it is to find that this place in whose proximity Christianity unfolded smells exactly — precisely — like Christmas.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Modern day hearts of darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 December 2018
    14 Comments

    A commentator recently described most politicians as being professional liars, and it can be argued that they tend to deceive themselves as well. Many can be compared with Heart of Darkness's Kurtz, who hid 'in the magnificent folds of his eloquence the barren darkness of his heart'.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Compound interest is the root of banks' evil

    • David James
    • 04 December 2018
    7 Comments

    The problem goes much deeper than a few crooked operatives and it will not be fixed by changing the corporate 'culture'. The fundamental evil is the arithmetic of compound interest. Interest on debt rises exponentially, while economic activity is linear. That means that sooner or later those in a weaker position are unable to pay.

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