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Keywords: Language

  • AUSTRALIA

    COVID and remote First Nations communities: Why are vaccination levels so varied?

    • Brian McCoy
    • 22 November 2021
    5 Comments

    We are now watching the entry of the Delta variant into the Northern Territory and with increasing concern about its possible spread across First Nations communities who vary greatly with their vaccination rates. This question was posed last Friday (19/11) on the ABC’s Coronacast: ‘Why is Indigenous vaccination so patchy?’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wipeout

    • Les Wicks
    • 22 November 2021

    The largest wave is friendship. / Heard stories about seamlessness / that sleepy beast of an upsurge that carries you in / until your fin cuts a channel in the sand. / There are dumpers that leave you gasping. / Will & persistence, how a cold current / can race to your head.

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  • RELIGION

    More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equity

    • Andrea Dean
    • 18 November 2021
    34 Comments

    It’s good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See. In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican’s governorate. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious discrimination laws coming to the boil

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 November 2021
    36 Comments

    It’s four years since the Australian Parliament amended the Marriage Act 1961 to provide that marriage means ‘the union of two people to the exclusion of all others’. The legislation followed the plebiscite on same sex marriage. To address the concerns of some religious groups, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up an expert panel chaired by long time Liberal Party minister Philip Ruddock to report on whether Australian law adequately protected the human right to freedom of religion. 

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    63 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Revisiting American Dirt

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 November 2021
    12 Comments

    Writers inevitably learn bitter lessons, including one about readers who will be wounded, hurt, or at least deeply offended by their work. There is usually more than one group of these, for people become upset for reasons that are many and varied. Such is the case in the reaction to Jeanine Cummins’ fourth book, American Dirt. Cummins has been variously accused of stereotyping, racism, narcissism, and of lacking in empathy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Your poetry questions, answered

    • Philip Harvey
    • 04 November 2021
    8 Comments

      Although I teach poetry and do occasional workshops, the following is written in response to one such workshopper, new to writing poetry, who in lockdown would message me on social media with fairly open-ended questions about poetry. My answers are written after the wry manner of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska; wry, but generally helpful. They are not the launch pad for a new poetics. I have stopped for now at 12 questions, but the questions keep rolling in.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Public faith and Perrottet

    • Julian Butler
    • 01 November 2021
    15 Comments

    The elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the Premiership of New South Wales caused a flurry of commentary about his religious faith. In many parts of the media his politics and personality were framed by his Catholicism. I watched on with a degree of discomfort, and with a sense of possibility. Could some of the bigoted characterisations invite a richer conversation about the ideals and deeper narratives that enliven our public leaders?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    27 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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  • RELIGION

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    26 Comments

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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