keywords: Interfaith

  • AUSTRALIA

    Dictators, democrats, and Egypt after Morsi

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 24 June 2019
    2 Comments

    Egypt's first and thus far only democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi died in court while being tried for espionage following a lengthy period in prison. He is described as an 'Islamist' but never as a democrat. It's as if the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. Must they be? Was he any less democratic than his predecessors?

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  • RELIGION

    Can the Church survive its terminal self harm?

    • Stephanie Dowrick
    • 06 March 2019
    85 Comments

    My relationship to Catholicism can be summed up as: I am on the outskirts, yet close and invested enough to care how the Church evolves. Because, it seems to me, how it evolves and the speed at which those urgent and essential changes take place will significantly determine whether it will survive — and whether it deserves to survive.

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  • RELIGION

    Do we ban the nun's veil next?

    • Rachel Woodlock
    • 24 August 2017
    29 Comments

    For an item of clothing that virtually no Australian Muslims wear, the burqa sure gets plenty of airtime. I've never seen the (usually blue) all-enveloping cloak with the small material grill for sale in any of the bricks-and-mortar Islamic clothing stores I've visited. Short of travelling to Afghanistan, the only place I can think where an anti-Islam protester might get one is by searching Halloween costume listings on eBay or Etsy.

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  • EDUCATION

    Towards a more inclusive religious curriculum

    • Sophie Chalmers
    • 21 March 2017
    21 Comments

    The Dalai Lama is turning 82 this July, and he may be the last in his line. The religious and political ramifications of this are often lost on the general public. Many people in largely Christian Australia don't know the significance of a Mikveh in Judaism, can't explain why the Buddhist Middle Path is so important, or recite what the Five Pillars of Islam are. There are as many diverse interpretations of Hinduism as there are for Christianity, and as many insightful Buddhist stories as there are in the Bible.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Leaders out of step with their faiths' climate teaching

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 17 November 2016
    9 Comments

    The evangelical Christian vote no doubt assisted the climate-denying Trump to his election victory, yet it is remarkable how out-of-step it is with the general view of faith communities globally. This view was made abundantly clear the day after Trump's victory on 10 November, with the release of an Interfaith Statement in Marrakech, Morocco, and it should stand as a challenge to those in public life who continue to block climate action.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel brutality reborn in our harrowing of refugee children

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2016
    15 Comments

    The High Court decision on detention in Nauru came down just before the Christian season of Lent. It left the government free and determined to deport many young mothers and children to Nauru. For the mothers and children deportation will bring new trauma with renewed threat to their already precarious mental health. For the Australian public it again makes us ask what brutality, even to children, we are ready to tolerate. The savagery of this treatment is a suitable subject for Lenten reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's no cheap path to harmony

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 February 2016
    10 Comments

    Of the United Nations Days and Weeks, World Interfaith Harmony Week is one of the most recent and perhaps the most modestly celebrated. It may also be the most needed. But the conversation cannot be confined to the churches and to those with religious faith. Its claim needs to extend beyond religious faiths to secular views of the world. The obstacle to such conversation is the religious settlement in Australia and Western nations, which can be described as negative tolerance.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Toleration must include understanding

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 October 2014
    7 Comments

    The repeal of the burka ban in parliament followed woeful comments from ignorant senators and an obvious lack of real government consultation with Australia’s Muslim communities, spotlighted an embarrassing level of illiteracy with regard to Islam. We need to move beyond a token religious ‘tolerance’ that is paired with incomprehension of the religious other, towards promoting a more engaged understanding that entails some comprehension of how religious and other cultural traditions fit together. 

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  • RELIGION

    Faiths fight forced marriage

    • Ashleigh Green
    • 21 March 2014
    7 Comments

    This week's inauguration of Twiggy Forrest's Global Freedom Network — a large-scale interfaith initiative to end slavery — publicly recognises the importance of interfaith collaboration as a means of understanding and addressing social issues. Its launch comes not long after an Australian-first interfaith forum about the issue of forced marriage. It included Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and discovered that forced marriage is not a Muslim issue.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cheap shots at religious fish out of water

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 May 2013
    11 Comments

    While Anthony the Maronite is dismissive of his Buddhist hosts' beliefs, Freeman the Buddhist finds meaning in the symbols and rituals of Catholicism. The overly simplistic intention seems to be to set open and inclusive Eastern religion alongside narrow-minded, arrogant Western Christianity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 20 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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