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Keywords: Paul Mitchell

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Franzen and faith at the crossroads

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 10 February 2022
    2 Comments

    American novelist Jonathan Franzen has in his last three fictional works taken words that loom large in the collective consciousness and built worlds around them. First, it was Freedom (2010), then Purity (2015), and now Crossroads (2021). The latter title, of course, refers to a literal and figurative decision-making moment, but also the mythic locale where blues singers, notably Robert Johnson, made their pacts with the devil. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Broken: A profound study of Christianity and the priesthood

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 09 December 2021
    5 Comments

    Broken first aired on BBC1 in England in 2017. Four years to make it to Australia, but it was worth it. The series is a profound and powerful study of Christianity and what priesthood means, whether for the man holding up the bread at the altar, or that ‘priesthood of all believers’ to which Christianity’s adherents are said to belong.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What we talk about when we talk about mental health

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 19 October 2021
    2 Comments

     Millions of Australians are slowly emerging from another lockdown and it’s again reported our mental health has suffered. The Victorian Government recently announced 93,000 hours for mental health clinicians to work across the state, and the delivery of 20 pop-up community mental health sites.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Children don’t need counselling for climate anxiety, they need climate action

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 September 2021
    7 Comments

    It was reported recently that Coalition MPs have been calling for an expansion of the government’s school chaplaincy program in order to reduce the mental health impacts of climate change ‘activism and alarmism’ on children. Yes, that’s right, they want to address the mental health impact of activism, not the impact of the actual, visible effects of climate change itself, or the very real threat that it poses to children’s futures.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Slow Train Coming: Bob Dylan’s spiritual journey

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 01 June 2021
    11 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    AFL must take a serious stand against sexist sledging

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 18 May 2017
    7 Comments

    I was 16 and playing senior football for my local team the first time I doubted whether it was the sport for me. At training, the men's talk turned to the various ways they liked to 'take' their wives. They spoke as if the women in their lives were of a different species. I looked at my friend. We had girlfriends and had never spoken to each other about them in this way. That was in 1984. The abuse of Marc Murphy's wife in the Carlton vs St Kilda match last Saturday shows not much has changed.

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  • EDUCATION

    Preppies' hope cuts through the terror of terrorism

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 20 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Last year, I was my son's main school-day carer. It was a year of which the second half was dominated by acts of terrorism around the world. For the first time I properly registered the fact that there were people on the planet who, given the opportunity, would kill the preppie and me because we didn't want the kind of world they wanted. I started to feel a presence looming over us. It wasn't a pleasant reality with which to engage. Nor, I soon realised, was it any way to live.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rehabilitating Abbott

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 October 2015
    18 Comments

    Australia has a long line of prime ministers whose standing has been propped up over time. Edmund Barton was a racist; Alfred Deakin spoke against 'undesirable coloured aliens'. The passage of time tends to extract the essential parts of a prime minister's stint, which is how complex figures like Whitlam, Fraser, Keating and Howard end up being rehabilitated in collective memory. It's hard to tell whether there is enough complexity in Abbott and his time as prime minister to enable such restoration.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abuse victim's post traumatic horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 April 2015

    The manner in which Hugh drugs and binds Jay has strong overtones of 'date rape'. More than this, though, there is inherent violence in his having had sex with her at all, knowing that her consent hinged on her ignorance of the real consequences. Now, to be fair, there are men in the film who suffer, too. But the objectification of women by the male gaze and the predatory dynamic this entails is too pervasive to ignore.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The theological lemming

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 18 February 2014
    1 Comment

    He only has faith in waves. They are the what in what he doesn't know. What he knows has left him on the edge of a cliff and whispered, Push yourself. Waves waver then crash. Their uncertain certainty gives him faith that he's only wavering.

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  • RELIGION

    Church helps set gay captives free

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 25 February 2013
    71 Comments

    David hated that he could not be himself at church. He considered suicide. But he couldn't give up on the God he believed loved him for who he was. One day he read a line in a local church's values statement: 'We regard each person as a valuable member regardless of sexual orientation'. 'Let's see if they're serious,' he thought. 

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