Vol 31 No 19

26 September 2021


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The satisfactions of homeliness

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2021
    2 Comments

    I’m reminded of George Orwell in smashed-up thoroughly locked-down, wartime London welcoming the first signs of spring amidst the ruins and winter’s lingering cold but wondering whether he should. ‘Is it wicked,’ he asks, ‘to take a pleasure in spring and other seasonal changes? To put it more precisely, is it politically reprehensible?’ 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If life is not sacred...

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 October 2021
    35 Comments

    Some weeks ago I wrote about the taking of human life and of the loss of its sacred connotations.  I argued that the decisive consideration governing recent legislation in such issues as abortion and assisted dying has been the appeal to individual choice, supported by compassion for people who suffer from their denial. Whether we welcome this trend or regret it, as I do, we all have an interest in asking what effect it will have on society. In this article I would like to explore this question in a way that opens rather than closes conversation.  

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  • RELIGION

    Raising women’s voices

    • Tracy McEwan, Patricia Gemmell
    • 06 October 2021
    15 Comments

    Annabel Crabb’s ABC TV documentary series Ms Represented had us gasping, laughing and raging all at once. The series struck an achingly familiar chord as women from different political parties and generations voiced their common experience of sexism and misogyny in Australia’s parliament, elucidating just how hard it is for women to have a voice at the table in Australian institutions of power.

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  • CARTOON

    Credit where credit's due

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 October 2021
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The gifts of our limitations

    • Stephanie Kate Judd
    • 05 October 2021
    6 Comments

    When I was a teenager, something glitched in my brain and central nervous system and my hand stopped working. Over the course of a year, I went from playing in orchestras to being unable to hold a pencil; from being in the top team of every sport I played to being unable to throw a ball. I’d baffled the world’s top neurologists and exhausted every avenue of medical testing. 

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Restoring the Third Rite

    • Bill Uren
    • 05 October 2021
    11 Comments

    As a result of the pandemic, like other religious observances, the availability of the Sacrament of Penance has been drastically curtailed, and it is unlikely that recourse to the sacrament will be as frequent as previously even when the restrictions are lifted. Further, the confidence of the laity in the inviolability of the seal has, understandably, been undermined, a consequence of which may again be that recourse to the sacrament will be in decline. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The problem of new nihilism

    • Joel Hodge
    • 05 October 2021
    41 Comments

    Does life have meaning? Or, as the new nihilists suggest, is life meaningless? A new book, The Sunny Nihilist, by writer and journalist, Wendy Syfret, puts the case for nihilism as an antidote to the obsessive search for meaning and purpose that many modern people experience.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A dog's life

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 30 September 2021
    3 Comments

    For almost two years our pets have had us all to themselves. Everywhere I go now, the dogs follow: to the study, to the television, to the bathroom, to bed. I’m the recipient of that same loyal companionship sought out by so many during the pandemic: across the world, demand to adopt or foster animals — and dogs, in particular — has surged. 

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  • RELIGION

    How the Plenary might resolve the unresolvable

    • Nimmi Candappa
    • 30 September 2021
    18 Comments

    At one level a lot is riding on this Plenary Council. Only the fifth such Council in the Australian church history, there is a great sense of anticipation among a wide variety of groups: those estranged from the church, priests looking for direction, women bereft of opportunities to express their faith and seeking a look-in, parents of uninterested children, those ostracised from the church, as well as those not wanting any changes at all.  

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 September 2021
    7 Comments

    In the Catholic calendar the Feast of St Francis of Assisi falls on next Tuesday. Although he gave up on wealth, power and influence Francis probably had a bigger effect on his world than any of his contemporaries. He continues to attract people to challenge the values of our society and to spark renewal in Christian institutions at the risk of going stale.

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  • CARTOON

    Silver linings

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 28 September 2021

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nuclear submarines surface questions of government spending

    • Vincent Long Van Nguyen
    • 28 September 2021
    12 Comments

    The Australian Government’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines has brought to the surface once again big questions around how governments should spend money, particularly during a pandemic. The Government has ditched a $90 billion plan for French submarines in favour of even more expensive boats from the United Kingdom or the United States.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Timeless Deepness of Silence

    • John Cranmer
    • 28 September 2021

    In this experience of place and moment / is a knowing of timelessness / offering persistent invitation into a deepness of silence / Silence knowing and living out / the roots of a self-aware becoming / sometime known as eternity

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anti-lockdown protests expose need for new conversations

    • Julian Butler
    • 28 September 2021
    9 Comments

    Walking down to the local Saturday morning street market, I wasn’t expecting to find myself amidst the beginnings of a violent protest. Seeing some police, I thought they were out and about to ensure the public weren’t taking too many liberties with the slightly eased restrictions that had come into effect for Melbourne the previous night. But half a dozen on each corner of Church St and Bridge Rd in inner-city Richmond suggested something more.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    What’s next for Afghanistan?

    • Hava Rezaie, Hayat Akbari, Zaki Haidari
    • 28 September 2021
    4 Comments

    It has now been over a month since the Taliban seized Kabul. As attention inevitably shifts elsewhere, the painful question arises: What's next? Is this another 'back to the future' moment? The signs are grim. Over the last two weeks, the Taliban have issued a number of edicts which demonstrate that their attitudes to women have not changed.

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