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Pragmatism: obscuring ideology in Australian politics



It’s a commonplace assertion that Australians don’t do ideology. So, even throughout the chaotic year from which we’ve just emerged, we ended up with headlines like the one in The Australian, suggesting that the Morrison government’s post-COVID recovery budget heralded the triumph of ‘pragmatism over ideology’. Others pointed to the strengths of Scott Morrison’s transactional ‘pragmatism’ and to his blending of social conservatism with non-ideological ‘policy blankness’.

Illustration Chris Johnston

Time and again we’re told that a certain kind of politics, even the best kind of politics, runs free from ideological commitments. Ideology, from this perspective, prioritises programmatic coherence out of a penchant for rarefied and cumbersome theory, while pragmatism responds flexibly to experience and contingency, to the demands of the moment.

But the celebration of pragmatism in Australian politics obscures the role that ideology has always already played. In fact, one of the more stealthily ideological moves in Australian politics, generally made within that swirl of commitments people call ‘centrism’, is the de-politicisation of policy — the attempt to present policy as responsive to natural imperatives rather than to specific values and ideals. Such ‘pragmatism’ converts ideologically traceable ideas into naturalised orthodoxies or, in the language of the hardhat-wearing political everyman, ‘mere common sense’.

The call to ‘post-ideological’ pragmatism has a powerful ideological pedigree, and we should be wary of anyone packaging it otherwise. Over this past half-decade of social and political crisis one of the critical arguments that has justifiably gained popular purchase is that a certain kind of ‘post-ideological’ liberalism, marked by technocratic density and a confidence in rationally driven historical progress, has met with serious failure. Managerialism and formalism are used but made invisible by those who think that the law is neutral, that the economy is an apolitical framework for organising our ‘natural’ acquisitiveness, and that bureaucracy presents a greater challenge to democratic sovereignty than multinational corporations with turnovers larger than some national GDPs.

Its more freewheeling advocates are possessed by the idea that power may be exercised without politics, that the systems that organise our lives, including the system of the market economy, may be conditioned to function without prioritising the interests and values of favoured sub-groups. They see ‘good governance’ as the non-ideological, technically adept, management of human affairs. This form of jackdaw liberalism, which selectively snaps up authenticating tropes from Enlightenment and early modern sources. It was, until 2008 and with embattled fortitude afterwards, the heartland of ‘common-sense’ talk.

On the other hand, this year past, and more generally the last decade, have taught us how heartbreakingly glib the bipartisan and forcefully globalised economic and social orthodoxies of the 1990s and early 2000s were. In a very material sense, the mantras of ‘good governance’ and ‘common sense’ were impractical, even as they placidly claimed consensus. If pragmatism entails knowledge formed in contact with lived experience, then it was never pragmatic to imagine an economy distinct from a society, or that a state budget was analogous to a household budget. Nor was it pragmatic to suggest that there were few social costs to offshoring jobs in obeisance to the vagaries of comparative advantage, or that the impenetrable complexity of modern financial instruments wouldn’t diminish oversight and ethical constraint. This was all, of course, profoundly ideological.


'"A fair go" is an empty signifier; it’s an ideal that flags down our ethical sensibilities only to be filled with whatever content or meaning suits the moment.'


It rested upon the characterisation of economic doctrines as natural laws, systemic dysfunction as inevitable externalities, and stable growth as an end for which there was an evidentially settled formula. It called for workplace relations to afford ‘flexibility’ so that business could move with disruptive ‘agility’, mantras that concealed a darker human reality — of shortened lives, divided families, lost dignity, and eroded communities. It spoke in terms of structures, rather than cultures or communities, as if the latter were merely incidental.

In its end-of-history waltz with financial capitalism, and in its call for ‘good solid pragmatism,’ jackdaw liberalism has frequently lost sight of the anchoring commitments of key liberal thinkers for whom subordinating economic life to socially oriented, publicly articulated values was essential to the practice of democracy. The liberal American philosopher John Dewey wrote that ‘it would be a great mistake’ for us to view ‘economic laws as natural’. Dewey wanted to encourage a reflective democratic culture in which no set of ideas were placed beyond reach of inquiry and critique. Letting Dewey’s words resonate, we might recognise that when Josh Frydenberg mocks talk of social ‘wellbeing’ as a lodestar for federal budgets — as worthy of unpragmatic yoga-mat brandishing hippies — he’s speaking as one of the more committed ideologues in Australian politics. What he’s really campaigning for is the subordination of supposedly effete social values to avowedly anti-social market naturalism.

But we know better. The hardships of 2020, a year that has had such profound personal and material effects upon our lives, don’t call for a retreat to the kind of ‘common sense’ that avoids serious and testing talk about social goods and values. Certainly, we shouldn’t allow ‘pragmatism’ to become a vague synonym for 1980s mantras of inevitability, driven by what economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee call a ‘blind economics’ unanswerable to social ends. As we move towards recovery, amongst us are many who need material support — whether as vulnerable individuals or families, or in small businesses. So much is obvious and urgent. But this is also a moment for a consideration of the commitments that orient policy, as well as the ideological positions that constrain it.  

With this in mind, and given everything we learned last year, we ought now not to speak of ‘common sense’ without an articulated sense of the common good. In Australia, a broadly shared sense of the common good has generally been communicated via one resonant but nebulous term — a ‘fair go’. Without further qualification, ‘a fair go’ is an empty signifier; it’s an ideal that flags down our ethical sensibilities only to be filled with whatever content or meaning suits the moment. But 2020 brought into sharp relief the centrality of social goods that we have reason to value — goods such our equal dignity as citizens, community, solidarity, stability of employment. We should now strive to make such goods the defining language of our political common sense. As this harsh year fades and we look to rebuild, it is precisely the time to recognise that true pragmatism means a critical search for our values.



Benedict Coleridge headshotBenedict Coleridge recently completed a doctorate in political theory at the University of Oxford. Follow him on Twitter @Ben_Coleridge

Main image: Illustration by Chris Johnston

Topic tags: Benedict Coleridge, ideology, pragmatism, Scott Morrison, politics, post-ideological, neoliberalism



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Existing comments

What our politicians need to learn is : not to take campaign funds from PEPs; Especially Chinese donors attached to the CCP; Not to give tenders to Chinese companies thereby sacrificing any chance of our skilled companies to create work here; To not permit the 1000 talents program to usurp our creative research efforts at Universities; To not let our Chancellors be bullied by Chinese ambassadors into giving preferential treatment to their own CCP students ; To not let HK students and our students be beaten and bashed by CCP students; To not give in to CCP economic co ercion at a national level eg tariff imposition and boycotts of ship unloading; To not permit the FIRB to rubber stamp the CCP SOE buy up valuable companies, land, mines, infrastructure and means of production; (if you sell the cow you cant sell the milk); To retaliate when we are threatened in some products, barley beef coal by raising the price of gas and steel; To actively seek new export markets; To buy back the ports and hang the cost; To protect our borders (including the Australian Antarctic territory) from invasion and degradation. These things would be a good start- ideology and a fair go dont need philosophical mystification.

Francis Armstrong | 09 February 2021  

Thoughtful article. Compelling. Thank you.

Michael Walsh | 09 February 2021  

Pragmatism is an ideology? It must be because Modernism, the theology of being pragmatic in a world that is dubbed ‘messy’, ‘ambiguous’ and containing ‘contradictions’, is. The spiritual accompanies the material. The theology of pragmatism over principle is simply the politics of pragmatism over principle in a different realm. If we should return to principle in this realm, the same applies in the next.

roy chen yee | 09 February 2021  

It seems to me Benedict that you are writing as if heart and kindness ought to sit at the head of any table when economic strategies for the citizens are being discussed and organised. That the strangled one-word-by-one-word deliveries of the Federal Treasurer ensuring his dog-whistles are clearly heard by the Murdochian-rag-jocks are as ugly as I always think them. Thank-you!

Jim KABLE | 09 February 2021  

Thanks you for your thought-provoking article, Benedict. You are correct that Australians generally view ideologies with suspicion, however, as you say towards the end of it, most believe in the concept of a "fair go". As nebulous as this sounds, I think it does suggest an ideology involving social justice, human rights and compassion. And those who hold such an ideology need to be aware that to put these principle into practice, they need to be pragmatic and follow the best advice to ensure that the common good for all is not undermined. I feel the attempt by The Australian to play pragmatism off against ideology is an attempt to get us all into accepting our PM's intention that we have to snap back to the ideology of neoliberal capitalism following a period when our political life has been interrupted by the covid pandemic and when our leaders have needed to adopt the advice of key medical scientists for the common good. It is disappointing that the LNP leaders do not see the need to be as practical about the huge problem we face with environmental pollution that is already killing millions and dramatically changing the climate. They urgently need to be taking the advice of environmental and climate science for the common good of human beings now and for those of future generations. We need to be asking what ideology our leaders subcribe to. Interestingly, in his maiden speech to the Australian Parliament in 2008, Scott Morrison quoted this passage from the prophet Jeremiah (Chaper 9 Verse 24) "I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord." state: "My vision for Australia is for a nation that is strong, prosperous and generous… generous in spirit, to share our good fortune with others, both at home and overseas, out of compassion and a desire for justice." Many Australians want to know why our PM has ignored the lofty principles in his maiden speech and implemented a political ideology that is the opposite and not very generous at all to asylum seekers and others those who are in dire straits and gives mightily to the richest and most powerful. Australia and the world urgently need leaders who are guided by the ideology of social justice, human rights and compassion and takes practical steps for the common good and the care of the environment.

Andrew (Andy) Alcock | 09 February 2021  

As usual, what a political program should at least contain has been sitting, ignored or unnoticed, under everybody’s noses for donkeys’ years. Courtesy of the Church’s teaching authority, we know there are four sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance. What they are is not hard to find. Any political program which fails to address any one of them is careless or derelict.

roy chen yee | 09 February 2021  

Roy, for the non mind readers among us, you'd better spell out what these four sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance actually are. Please pardon my abysmal ignorance.

Francis Armstrong | 11 February 2021  

Might not part of the obfuscation identified by Benedict Coleridge be due to a shift in the everyday usage of the word "pragmatic", which has widely come to mean merely practical, or getting something that needs to be done, done - a usage which empties the word of its ethical connotation and sense of social responsibility, and promotes the idea that the end justifies the means?

John RD | 11 February 2021  

Thanks, Francis. Googling ‘four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance’ will get you several sources but, since you’ve given me the opportunity to propagandise, I’ll select an eight year old example for your perusal: https://taylormarshall.com/2012/07/four-sins-that-cry-to-heaven-america.html

roy chen yee | 11 February 2021  

Good read and what the author suggests (maybe unwittingly), are symptons of radical right libertarianism from the 'deep south' strongly influenced by Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan. The same has been cleverly promoted through various guises over generations and more recent decade(s), driven by Koch Network think tanks, and now globally (especially apparent in the UK and Australia). While the underlying policies and themes, in raw terms, are not palatable to most voters, it's about creating a retail coalition of voters to gain power, via sociocultural (wedge) issues and 'oppositionism', for the wholesale end, or power in the background. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker and author of 'Dark Money' (with Kochs central) cited the glib retail message of 'individual freedom and liberty', to allow the wholesale coalition of corporate donors to have their 'corporate freedom and liberty' from grounded policies in the interest of society, that constrain their business interests and future income.

Andrew J. Smith | 12 February 2021  

Thank you Roy. I am indebted to you. I see these are listed as: The "blood of Abel": homicide, abortion, infanticide, fratricide, patricide, and matricide. The "sin of the Sodomites": non-procreative sexual acts (sodomy). (cf. Jude 1:7). Oppression of the poor. The "injustice to the wage earner": taking advantage of and defrauding workers (cf. James 5:4). Obviously these sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance have never come to the attention of our parliamentarians or the LGTB movement.

Francis Armstrong | 14 February 2021  

Beautifully and availingly argued, all the more to reveal the widespread and insidious affects of a pragmatism that does not simply seek to degrade political ideology as a bete noir, as some contributors to this discussion specifically have done on this website in numerous quotable instances, but also to obscure and pour scorn on the values debate that properly underpins policy. I am saddened, in this context, that the fundamentalist elisions of Taylor Marshall have sneaked their way into muddying these crucially important policy waters. Reading Marshall's prescribed article above is, far from ratifying Coleridge's claim, to draw attention instead to the immense distance between Coleridge's fine intellectual and moral work on the democratic polity and its deliberations and Marshall's pet hatreds, viz. the US Catholic hierarchy and the universal Catholic Church, especially in the person of Pope Francis. I feel compelled to say as such that alongside the Coleridge essay, Marshall's enunciation and explication of his four deadly sins detracts from, cheapens and usurps the overarching targets, multifaceted and complex though they are, of Dr Coleridge's brilliant argument as well as several central aspects of Catholic teaching on a range of social and moral questions, ES editors, kindly note!

Michael Furtado | 15 February 2021  

Michael Furtado: As one of your likely suspects in ES exchanges over some years, for the record I'll say it's not political ideology as such that I regard as a "bete noir" (15/2). Rather, what I don't support is the equation of faith with ideology, the reduction of the Church to a man-made institution, and distortion of the Gospel to a secular platform bereft of eschatological scope.

John RD | 15 February 2021  

Michael be careful what you wish for and take off the rose coloured glasses. It is indeed a crying shame that some of us who are unable to soar like intellectual eagles are condemned to unwittingly lower the tone of your lofty debate. The Vatican as well as being the axle of Catholicism is also big business and continually beleaguered by corruption. With an estimated worth $15 bn The Vatican , the Vatican Bank $3.5 bn and has accumulated tithes and offerings from the laity for 14 centuries. Additionally, the city has a number of investments from foreign and native investors. It owns shares worth billions. Some of the investment giants are Gulf oil, Shell, General Electric, etc. This makes it a significant hub for business and a target for corruption from within. Pope Francis own net worth is estimated to be $24-28 million. So its an enclave of prestige based on Clericalism, rank, status, title and women are second class citizens bound to forever remain so based on the thin pronouncement of infallibility of : "On May 22, 1994, John Paul II promulgated Ordinatio sacerdotalis, where he states that the Church cannot confer priestly ordination on women: Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." Its hard to be proud of being a Catholic because the hierarchy take delight in perpetuating these inequalities and making the laity aware they have no say in anything of consequence.

Francis Armstrong | 16 February 2021  

Michael Furtado: ‘ES editors, kindly note!’ Note what? ‘Elisions’ to cancel?

roy chen yee | 16 February 2021  

Taylor Marshall actively promotes traditionalist Catholicism through his various websites, blog posts, podcasts, and YouTube videos. Marshall has been openly critical of Bishop Robert Barron's (US Catholicism's most articulate public commentator) promotion of the Balthasarian thesis of universal salvation. Marshall's 2019 book, 'Infiltration', claims to demonstrate that, over the last two centuries, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has been actively subverted to promote Freemasonic power. The book has been controversial in Catholic circles, drawing negative reviews from informed media outlets. Archbishop Carlo Viganò, who relentlessly attacks +Francis, is a hero of Marshall's, while James Martin, the Jesuit editor of 'America', and various US Bishops are frequently pilloried by him. Marshall funded the theft of indigenous statues from the premises of the Amazon Synod, and their being thrown into the Tiber. Marshall actively supported Donald Trump's presidential campaign by popularising Archbishop Vigano's letter warning of dark forces working to undermine the United States. Marshall was rewarded by the campaign in return, and retweeted on the president's Twitter account. Roy need properly fear no editorial interference in a publication dedicated to free (and, presumably, temperate) speech. His discomfort should arise from the conspiracy theorists he cites in support of Catholic orthodoxy.

Michael Furtado | 16 February 2021  

Well in answer to that, I quite admire Vigano because he initially exposed the sleazy hypocrite, Cardinal McCarrick. If he chooses to attack Francis then why not? Francis, despite church teaching, has pushed for same sex civil unions. Vigano says homosexuality and pedophilia are inextricably linked and the whole tenor of abuse within the church needs a thorough clean up. As does the corruption issues in the VB. As to child abuse,If you are unaware of the magnitude of the problem, I suggest you go to the Broken Rites web page and read the findings of the Royal Commission. Rampant clericalism has got the church into dire straits. In short, the church needs to deal with its social shortcomings and inequality issues (not theological debates) and stop tip toeing around its pompous hierarchy as if they were Gods chosen few here on earth. Thanks for the expose on Taylor Marshall.

Francis Armstrong | 16 February 2021  

Michael Furtado: ‘Taylor Marshall….Catholic orthodoxy.’ Horrified by a name? As with ‘Trump’ or ‘de Chardin’ or ‘James Martin’? We are all curate’s eggs (or the Church would be wrong about grace and sin). A check of the internet will throw up conservatives who disagree with Marshall’s book. But none of them will disagree that the Church does, from Scripture, prescribe the four broad areas of sin that faulty public policy will perpetuate. The Marshall link makes the Scriptural connection explicit. Otherwise, just saying that there are four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance is a cultural understanding of Christianity. There actually are four categories of sins that do cry to heaven and that is a theological fact. Therefore, the purpose to which the Marshall link can be put is to know what areas of theological and consequent public policy a party platform aligning with Christian morality should address. And that is the same way you view Marshall, Trump, de Chardin or Martin. Where the evil is intrinsic, they are bound in how to respond. Where the evil is prudential, eg., in being mistaken or exaggerating about the Church, how to respond is contestable.

roy chen yee | 17 February 2021  

While your gusto commends you, your logic doesn't. Vigano's pique is occasioned by his denial of the red hat. Same-sex civil unions protect the property rights of homosexuals, which are defended by Church teaching. There's no link between gayness and pedophilia, except to those relying on assertion and prejudice, rather than evidence, for their beliefs. While I'd defend to the death your right to argue for Church reform, your peculiar litany of errors, betraying an inconsistency of both reason and topic, and coupled with your personal attacks on +Francis and +Coleridge, contrast markedly with the carefully reasoned and consistent critique of Australian episcopal paralysis that is the hallmark, for instance, of John Warhurst's contribution to the same debate. I attended the Brisbane Archdiocesan Assembly before COVID-19 broke, as well as it two parish colloquiums. At the Assembly, I noticed that the Archbishop attended as a participant and intervened but once to politely request a fundamentalist, who heckled the audience, to cease his rant. As a theological progressive, I have to say that I felt under no constraint to express my views. The Church is large and multifarious and the currents of opinion that swirl within it are complex and daunting.

Michael Furtado | 17 February 2021  

Francis Armstrong (16/2): Regarding the priesthood, it seems to me "equality" of men and women in the Church is an issue only if priestly ordination is conceived in political terms as secular ideology would have it be. And what is "thin" about about Pope John II's Apostolic Letter on the reservation of the priesthood to men which is substantiated by two millennia of Catholic Church teaching and practice?

John RD | 19 February 2021  

Roy, re. Genesis' 4 sins, here's our PP, Dr Wrex Woolnough's take on it.'We start with the sin of disobedience of Adam and Eve eating of the forbidden fruit, which sees them punished by being driven out of the Garden, but God provides them with clothing to cover their nakedness.Then there is murder when Cain kills Abel out of jealousy.He is sent into exile, but only after he is marked as protected so that anybody who kills Cain will suffer a seven-fold vengeance.The third sin is sexual immorality and violence, as the sons of God marry as many of the daughters of men as they choose.As a result, God decides to flood the earth to destroy all living flesh.But He gets Noah to build an Ark and save a pair of each animal and gives the rainbow as a promise that he will never do that again.The fourth is the Tower of Babel: the arrogance to think we can reach heaven alone.As punishment, God causes confusion by creating different languages with the hope being found in the rest of the Book: the call of Abram and the creation of a chosen people.Somewhat different to your tale of gloom and doom?

Michael Furtado | 22 February 2021  

Michael Furtado: ‘re. Genesis' 4 sins, here's our PP, Dr Wrex Woolnough's take on it.' Thanks for not merely name-dropping Father Wrex (PhD) but owning his argument for yourself by telling us what it is. Father Wrex is talking about four sins, none of which is to do with oppressing the poor or defrauding workers. Of murder, the text confirms the call to heaven, ‘10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground’ and vengeance, or an unpleasant recompense, follows in the next sentence, ‘11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground.’ Vengeance by drowning follows upon the next sin. Incidentally, the desire of angels for human women could infer, perhaps contestably, that there is a default maleness in the entities of the spiritual realm, perhaps suggesting why the Second Person is male; that there might be a beauty in humans not possessed by angels which might suggest why Lucifer hates humans; and that the difference between the heterosexual hanky-panky of these unruly angels and the homosexual hanky-panky of the men of Sodom suggests that even angels in lust respect the masculinity of the realms.

roy chen yee | 22 February 2021  

John RD, the Anglicans had this debate and while Catholics may see the appointment of a female priest as the capitulation of the church to the secular world, in fact it represents the next logical step for Catholics in a century-long, debate about the nature of women, the church, and God. We are told that only men attended the last supper. So who cooked the meal? Who was in the kitchen? Who served the food? Was it Mary, or Magdalene? Undoubtedly others were present and while paintings depict the 12, that didn't give them any exclusivity or superiority to women. Could you argue that Judas was morally superior to mother Mary because he was a male? Surely not. Two priests have told me that women can't be priests because: 1. A woman can bear a child, and; 2. They are ritually unclean because of their cycle. This is arrant nonsense. Surely the church is denying our conviction that “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galations 3:28). What has been bound on earth can be loosed. Just as we no longer see slavery as legitimate (as in the Roman Empire), Christ came to give all of us, male and female life in abundance. The Anglicans could teach the Catholics a lesson or two.

Francis Armstrong | 22 February 2021  

DPhil (Oxon), actuellement, Le Roy! Of course, I sought Wrex's permission prior to quoting him and he sent me the entire text of his sermon. His advice - wiser than my own proclivity to respond - was to ask who you were and, naturally, since neither of us knew you, other than through your almost Joycean stream of consciousness, my sense is that we'd require a Rosetta stone of concordats to decipher your meaning. Replete with double somersaults and reverse cartwheels, your eloquence eminently succeeds in tying your opponents up in Gordian knots; though, alas, not much in enlightening them. At best I understand and accept that for both of us, i.e. you and me, my homosexuality is a trial, but, like Pope Francis, I also think of it as a gift. Might the passion of your antipathy betray a secret affinity, one has to ask; for I have yet to encounter in another theologised loathing of diverse sexuality, such as in you.

Michael Furtado | 25 February 2021  

Francis: I'm not disposed to canonise a practice that's a novelty vis a vis the Catholic tradition - a practice the Church has maintained and pronounced solemnly and consistently on for two millennia. Your extraction from its context and application of the Galatians verse to the issue of women's ordination is questionable exegesis. Moreover, the Anglican decision on the matter has fostered ecclesial disunity.

John RD | 25 February 2021  

John RD, no one is asking you canonize anything as you simply don't have the power. And the Galatians verse is not a "questionably exegesis" as Paul quoted it word for word. The church is evolving eg Slavery was not immediately abolished in the church (see Eph 6:5-9; Col 3:22; Phlm 12: 1 Tim 6:1). Likewise, women did not immediately receive full and equal participation with men in the ministry of the church. However, Phoebe is mentioned as a “deacon” (Rom 16:1) Junia was a female apostle (Rom 16:7), and the leaders of the church at Philippi were women (Phil 4:2–3). Priscilla assumed an authoritative teaching role over men (Acts 18), and the “Elect Lady” (2 John) may well have been a prominent church leader with a congregation under her care. "(See discussion of these persons, with bibliography, in Davidson, Flame of Yahweh, 649–650.)

Francis Armstrong | 25 February 2021  

Thanks to those who made contact to say that I must have meant 'concordance' and not 'concordats'. There's many a slip.....

Michael Furtado | 26 February 2021  

Francis: None of the verses you refer to suffices to assert that scripture supports the ordination of women to the priesthood, and none of them has been used by the Church's magisterium to do so. 'Evolution' of teaching and practice in the Catholic Church is organic, not disjunctive, and coheres with the Apostolic tradition.

John RD | 27 February 2021  

To correct the record: Fr Wrex Woolnough informs me that his is a/an MPhil, but that such a appellation should neither add to nor detract from the soundness of his exegesis. Thanks!

Michael Furtado | 27 February 2021  

Of course, AN appellation, by any other name, would hopefully sound as sweet!

Michael Furtado | 02 March 2021