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  • Main image: People on their phones (camilo jimenez/Unsplash)
    media

    Impartial journalism in the age of social media

    • Denis Muller
    • 10 June 2021
    4 Comments

    The landscape has changed, and there is no going back. Individual journalists are now integrated into the ranks of pundits, urgers and persuaders who abound online. At their employers’ behest, they blog, they podcast, they ‘engage’ as the current jargon has it, with those who post comments to their articles online.

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  • Main image: Women holding hands hospital bed (Getty Images)
    australia

    Voluntary assisted dying via telehealth is another step down a perilous path

    • Hoa Dinh
    • 10 June 2021
    3 Comments

    In legislatures around Australia at present euthanasia is a staple item. It is vital that euthanasia legislation ought to balance the liberty of the invulnerable against the safeguarding of the vulnerable, especially the elderly and people with disabilities.

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  • Main image: Australian banknotes (Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash)
    economics

    Teetering on the financial brink

    • David James
    • 08 June 2021
    4 Comments

    An often overlooked fact about the financial system is that it entirely depends on trust. When trust starts to evaporate, especially between the big players such as banks and insurance companies, the whole artifice is put into peril. Trust in the system is now at an extreme low and that points to extreme danger.

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  • Palestinians take part in a prtoest in solidarity with the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on May 10, 2021 (Fatima Shbair/Getty Images)

    Palestine remains embroiled in the quagmire of politics and legitimacy

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 14 May 2021
    9 Comments

    The relationship between Israel and Palestine is one of coloniser and colonised not a relationship between two states. While the specific recognition of a Palestinian state by the Labor Party was covered broadly by the media, the legitimisation of the two-state paradigm remains.

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  • Main image: Three women pointing to a computer (John Schnobrich/Unsplash)

    Truth lies at the heart of communication

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 May 2021
    10 Comments

    There are larger and unchanging questions about why we communicate and about the effect of our communications on the way we live. World Communications Day is an opportunity to think about these basic questions.

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  • Main image: Police and hotel quarantine workers wearing PPE at the entrance of the Intercontinental Hotel quarantine (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

    India travel ban: citizenship comes a distant second place

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 May 2021
    10 Comments

    While the ban is unique in its severity, it is not divorced from a broader tendencies as to how citizenship has been appraised during pandemic times. Public health and safety have been prioritised over the standard liberties associated with citizenship.

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  • Main image: Nurse sitting in a hallway (Vladimir Fedotov/Unsplash)

    Recognising the human value of work

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 June 2021
    7 Comments

    In Victoria the latest lockdown has prompted fresh questioning of the business-as-before approach to life after COVID-19. In particular it urges renewed reflection on the connection between the remuneration of work and its importance to society.

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  • Woman lying in hospital bed (Getty Images)

    Why has the anti-euthanasia case been so unsuccessful?

    • Margaret Somerville
    • 03 June 2021
    37 Comments

    The case against euthanasia is much more difficult to promote, not because it is weak — it is not — but because it is much more complex.

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  • Lady Justice peaking behind her blindfold to see a barrister surrounded by money and other people crowded together on the other side. Illustration Chris Johnston

    Rule of lucre

    • Martin Pike
    • 01 June 2021
    12 Comments

    The fact is that money still buys a better service from the legal system, and to claim otherwise is to throw out the most basic principles of an economy. After all, if there were no benefit to be gained from backing up a truck full of money and tipping 30 or 40 grand a day into a team of silks, junior barristers and top tier solicitors, why would those with the means do it? To argue the contrary beggars belief. And if the observation is accepted, what does that tell us about the rule of law?

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  • Main image: ishops, cardinals and patriarchs attend the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

    Synods on synods

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2021
    23 Comments

    At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years.

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  • Families wait for morning prayers outside Sydney mosque (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

    Rediscovering the communal joy of Eid

    • Najma Sambul
    • 27 May 2021
    12 Comments

    The celebration of Eid Al-Fitr (the feast of breaking the fast) marks the end of Ramadan fasting. And this year, it has been a relief more than anything. It feels ‘normal’ again.

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  • Silhouette of man walking on road holding stick (Autthaporn Pradidpong/Unsplash)

    St Ignatius Loyola and the midlife journey

    • Gerald O'Collins
    • 20 May 2021
    22 Comments

    Over forty years ago I drew on the doctoral work of Bridget Puzon to produce The Second Journey and reflect on midlife journeys. Human history, as I realised then and later, throws up everywhere examples of such journeys: from Abraham and Sarah to Moses, from Paul of Tarsus to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, from Dante Alighieri to Eleanor Roosevelt, from John Wesley to Jimmy Carter, from John Henry Newman to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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  •  River red gum at Mt Ridley reserve in Craigieburn (Elizabeth Donoghue/Flickr)

    The true quiet Australians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 June 2021
    5 Comments

    Red gum, this ‘smooth-barked large tree that gives watercourses all over Australia their Australian feel’, seemed intent on bobbing up in my life one way or another, sometimes as a result of sheer luck or coincidence.

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  • Main image: Pope Francis (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk/Flickr)

    Climate crisis, displacement and solidarity

    • Stephen Minas
    • 13 April 2021
    1 Comment

    On 30 March, the Holy See engaged with an important aspect of displacement with the publication of its ‘Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People’. The intersection between climate change and human displacement is a still emerging area of concern. Nevertheless, we know that climate change is already a factor in various forms of human mobility.

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  • Main image: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (Centre for American Progress/Flickr)

    Halki Summit highlights care for creation amid pandemic

    • Stephen Minas
    • 18 February 2021
    2 Comments

    The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked difficult questions about the links between the simultaneous health and ecological crises. These questions were examined in late January at the virtual Halki Summit, the latest in a long series of environment-focused events convened by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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  • Close up on electric blue feathers (Daniel Olah/Unsplash)

    A black and blue visitation

    • Rory Harris, Grant Fraser, Lyn McCredden, Jamie Dawe
    • 08 June 2021
    1 Comment

    Into the sky, black and blue visitation by which we are blessed, or warned. Screaming like lovers en route, regal, snapping for nuts and dominance in the clattering trees.

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  • Main image: Bob Dylan singing and playing guitar (Xavier Badosa/Wikimedia Commons)

    Slow Train Coming: Bob Dylan’s spiritual journey

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 01 June 2021
    9 Comments

    Like the best religious poetry, Dylan’s works resists easy interpretation and remains open to endless meditation. Dylan’s overtly political songs — ‘Hurricane’, ‘Political World’ — and love songs — ‘Idiot Wind’, ‘Tangled up in Blue’ — have often been challenging. It’s the same with his religious output.

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  • Main image: World Peace Day March near the Hotel Australia, King William Street, North Adelaide, 1969. People have signs, which read, "End Conscription", "Save our Sons", and "Bring our boys back". (Hal Pritchard/State Library of South Australia)

    Interrogating the past

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 May 2021
    16 Comments

    A wry satisfaction to be enjoyed in reading histories of events of your youth is that it uncovers your prejudices at that time. It reassures you that you have grown wiser but also makes you wonder whether your present attitudes will need revisiting. Save Our Sons, Carolyn Collins’ detailed and even-handed study of women’s campaign against conscription during the Vietnam War, offered such pleasures.

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