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Keywords: Atheist

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Atheist Clive James' hymn to God

    • Philip Harvey
    • 10 June 2014
    8 Comments

    Rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated, but Clive James has since 2010 made a public art of dying. It is in this intense moment of re-evaluation of life that we read his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. Possibly no great poem is so immersed in the connections between our life here and now with life after death. It's striking that an avowed atheist produces the best poetry in Paradiso.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Veteran muckraker wrestles with God

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 06 June 2014
    2 Comments

    When journalist and activist Barbara Ehrenreich was a young woman she came face to face 'with something vast, terrifying and unknowable'. We mustn't take for granted the courage this admission took coming from such a committed atheist. While noting science can 'dismiss anomalous 'mystical' experiences', she wrestles her discontent into submission by boldly declaring that it 'is not unscientific to search for what may not be there'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget points to new sectarianism

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 May 2014
    6 Comments

    When Tony Abbott reintroduced knights and dames back in March, critics said it was a sign he was 'stuck in the 1950s'. Another characteristic of 1950s Australian society was the sectarianism that bitterly divided the nation along religious lines. There are echoes of this in last Tuesday's Federal Budget announcement that schools will lose the option of appointing non-religious welfare workers under the national school chaplaincy program.

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  • RELIGION

    The celebrity Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The appearance at the end of Francis' first year of Berlusconi's new magazine, Il Mio Papa, is testimony that the Pope is now mythical, a celebrity, and that the myth can be manipulated, marketed and monetised. It is difficult to give an accounting for celebrities, but merely popping their balloon also misses what in them attracts popular attention. So it is with evaluating what is distinctive about Francis and what he has contributed to the Church.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia is neither Christian nor atheist

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 January 2014
    34 Comments

    The Greens have called for the dropping of the Lord's Prayer from the opening of each day's sitting of federal parliament. Because Australia is not a Christian country, they are right to question the exclusive use of a Christian prayer. But any change should reflect a multi-faith society, not a no-faith society.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 14 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • RELIGION

    This time in the Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 November 2013
    5 Comments

    'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and Australia’s social justice agenda

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 October 2013

    'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.

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  • EDUCATION

    Advice for graduating health sciences students

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 October 2013

    'My sixth piece of advice is for all graduates and not just those of you who are religious. We all need to develop a comprehensive worldview, nurturing the sense of the transcendent in the human spirit, and holding together in tension ideals and reality, dreams and our shortcomings.' Full text from Frank Brennan's La Trobe Graduation Address, Health Sciences, 18 October 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    Laughing at Islam

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 10 October 2013
    4 Comments

    Tax consultant turned satirist and comic Nazeem Hussain's SBS series Legally Brown does more than just poke fun. Perhaps the most effective and most difficult ways to tackle prejudice and fear is to laugh at it. Chris Kenny's objections in The Australian that Hussain's appearance on Q&A was 'highly disturbing and dangerous' and 'an apologia for terrorism' show that Hussain and his fans continue to have plenty to laugh about.

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  • RELIGION

    Has the Catholic Church in Australia any credibility left?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 October 2013
    18 Comments

    'What a pope; what a man! ... The credibility of the Catholic Church has been enhanced with this new pope. We see in him many of the finest aspects of the presently battered and ageing Church.' Frank Brennan's presentation for Spirituality in the Pub, Pumphouse Hotel, Fitzroy, Vic. on 2 October 2013.

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