author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump impeachment trial risks further division

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 January 2021
    8 Comments

    I fear that as the process plays out, it will be seen by a divided nation to symbolise and embody the polarised politics of the previous years and of the incapacity of the organs of government to comprehend or address the causes of the anger and despair that foment division. It will hinder, not free, the new president.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Language as an open door

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2020
    13 Comments

    If we want to renew religious language and images we must begin with attention to the words we currently use, noticing their resonance as well as their meaning. It is then important for the language of prayer and reflection to be grounded in deep contemporary experience.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Reflecting on the inalienable humanity of martyrs

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2020
    17 Comments

    This week is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Ita Ford and Maura Clarke in El Salvador. An event distant in place and time, but worth remembering and honouring in its distance. And also worth reflecting on for its significance for our own time.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Jesuit Refugee Service: '40 years of accompaniment'

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 November 2020
    6 Comments

    Stories of volunteers who went to help in foreign crises used to focus on the impact on the people helped. Today they explore how both parties are changed through the experience. That was also true in Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) whose 40th anniversary occurred last week.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Biden's middle class in a divided America

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 November 2020
    9 Comments

    The priority given to the middle class was not new — Biden stressed it in speeches through the primaries and again as a candidate. And it is no doubt important. But when seen in the light of the passionate polarisation of the campaign, the closeness of the results, and the continuing mutual antipathy of the supporters of each party, rebuilding the middle class seems an unlikely source of healing.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Profitless prognostications

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2020
    8 Comments

    One of the minor annoyances of the United States election was how unreliable the polls turned out to be, particularly in some key swing states. Unsurprising, but still annoying for those hoping for a massive repudiation of the Trump presidency. In the large scheme of affairs the failure of the polls to predict is insignificant, but it does raise interesting questions about its implications for public life in the United States and in Australia.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    If life were a walk in the park

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 November 2020
    17 Comments

    These last weeks the possible re-election of Donald Trump has been one of the dark birds that visit many of us in the night. As with other such epochal events, of course, how we might react internally to it is of vastly less weight than its effect on the world. Neither early morning wandering nor anything else we can do will change that. But it might shape our response.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugees are the canaries in the mine

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2020
    8 Comments

    If society were a mine, refugees would be the canaries in it. Their condition reveals whether the currents of public air are pure or toxic. By that standard the present currents in Australia are noxious. They mark a change from the first generous response to the coronavirus to the meaner reconstruction of the economy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rulers in crisis

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2020
    11 Comments

    In the choppy waters of public conversation, rulers have recently attracted much attention as they have bobbed along on its surface. This is not unusual, but in these months the attention has been more frenetic and perhaps harder to read. Whether it be Trump, Johnson, Andrews, Ardern, Berejiklian or Pope Francis, there have been unusual eddies about them that merit reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Imagining the Budget

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 October 2020
    8 Comments

    The Federal Budget this year coincided with the release of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Both are preoccupied with the shape that society will take after COVID-19. It is tempting to compare their different approaches.

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  • RELIGION

    Fratelli Tutti: seeking the common good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 October 2020
    47 Comments

    Pope Francis’ latest encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti is, as we might have anticipated, a reflection on our times. The burden of the encyclical is to commend fraternity and social friendship and deplore selfishness and hostility in the response to the crisis.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Putting a value on a human life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 October 2020
    7 Comments

    The response to COVID has invited reflection about the relative value of one human death (and so of one human life) as compared with another. This is a radical question because it makes us ask whether the value of a human life is defined by economic wellbeing and by potential contribution to the economy, or by deeper qualities.

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