Keywords: Shapes

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fearing and loathing that toad, Work

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 May 2018
    7 Comments

    Philip Larkin spent 30 years as a librarian, but famously wrote a rebellious poem in which he asks plaintively: 'Why should I let/the toad work/Squat on my life?' Technology is not the only force that shapes our destinies, an idea I need to remind myself of whenever I start worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tim Winton's model of manhood

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 May 2018
    5 Comments

    One of the challenges that faces any society is how boys will become men. In many societies the passage is mapped and enacted through ritual initiations or through military training. It also periodically causes great anxiety. Two recent books encourage reflection on different aspects of the passage from boys to men.

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  • RELIGION

    Subverting idolatry in churches and banks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 May 2018
    31 Comments

    The banking royal commission has already come to resemble the earlier child abuse royal commission. To observers who share a personal and public-spirited interest in the decent functioning of institutions, the similarities invite reflection on why two apparently different forms of institution should behave in such similar ways.

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  • RELIGION

    Clerical culture produces poor fruit

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 April 2018
    59 Comments

    In a recent article I remarked that in the Catholic Church clericalism is a pejorative term. Some readers criticised me for focusing on individuals and not the more insidious culture of clericalism. The criticism was justified, and in this article I shall reflect on the culture and its byproducts.

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  • RELIGION

    Matching action to social justice rhetoric

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 February 2018
    9 Comments

    The World Day of Social Justice greets a year when social justice is returning to favour. Bank executives begin to own their social responsibilities. Liberal economics begin to be seen, not as the condition for a productive economy but as a barrier to it. That is the rhetoric. For governments, though, it is business as usual.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: The abuse commission 'damp squib'

    • Moira Rayner
    • 08 January 2018
    2 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

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  • RELIGION

    Will abuse commission be another damp squib?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 December 2017
    40 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

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  • RELIGION

    Finding dignity in two pavilions of dying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 October 2017
    13 Comments

    I am struck by the difference between these two kinds of reflection on life and death. It seems to lie in the articulacy of the appeal to be able to die under favourable conditions and the inarticulacy of those celebrated at Ozanam House. They had died as modestly and wordlessly as they had lived.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cloud meditations

    • Wally Swist
    • 02 October 2017
    2 Comments

    Even when I was a child, I had a distinct intuition that I had lived previous lives in which I was trying to enlighten others around me. I find most people are not receptive.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Non-ants and animal whimdom

    • Barry Gittins
    • 24 July 2017
    2 Comments

    ants don’t sleep elephants weep presidents creep oolong teas steep and we observe. dictators serve goosekillers swerve ignorance hits curve art shows verve and we obsess. rabbits stress tortoises press paedophiles confess corporations bless and we object

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Awaiting the Referendum Council in NAIDOC Week

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 July 2017
    6 Comments

    It is no disrespect to those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders gathered at Uluru to say that now is the time for the report of the Referendum Council to be scrutinised by our national politicians, and that our elected leaders should pay special heed to the observations of those Indigenous members of the federal parliament who have offered considered reflections on the way forward. In particular, our elected representatives should have regard to the views of Patrick Dodson who is now Bill Shorten's Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    NAIDOC: Languages matter because people matter

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 June 2017
    11 Comments

    The theme of the week is 'Our Languages matter'. It lies at the heart of the Uluru statement. It also poses questions about the way in which we conceive our identity as a nation. In Australia we communicate in many languages. English is the language of business and public life, but many other languages, both Indigenous and introduced, are the primary languages of groups of Australians. Language is much more than a means of communication. It is an emblem of our tribe. It shapes how we interact.

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