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Keywords: Books That Saved My Life

  • RELIGION

    Best of 2021: Atheists and God cancellers

    • Michael McGirr
    • 11 January 2022
    1 Comment

    I must have time on my hands. I have been thinking about the difference between atheists and God cancellers. I love my atheist friends, of whom I am blessed with many. I relish the existential grist of our talks, the deep sense of substance and mutual respect. I also love the constant jokes. We keep each other honest. I enjoy a rich engagement with the history of thought and I believe we ennoble each other through the kind of trust that is prepared to talk about things that are off limits to others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Mercy Sisters of the Pilbara

    • Paul Cleary
    • 21 September 2021
    1 Comment

    In the late 1970s, two Mercy sisters answered a call to work with Aboriginal people, and they chose a place in the Pilbara region of Western Australia that had a notorious reputation. Sisters Bernadette Kennedy and Bernadine Daly arrived in the largely Aboriginal town of Roebourne in Australia’s north-west in mid-1978 to see if they were needed. They quickly discovered that in a town ‘awash with alcohol’ there was great need.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    LinkedInglese

    • Michael McGirr
    • 02 September 2021
    15 Comments

    There is a curious world called LinkedIn, a social media site for people trying to nurture their careers. The problem with it is that the participants are expected to take themselves more seriously than they might in what we used to call real life. LinkedIn has a culture of self-importance that cracks me up every time. There is nothing quite as funny as utter humourlessness. 

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  • RELIGION

    Atheists and God cancellers

    • Michael McGirr
    • 10 August 2021
    26 Comments

    I must have time on my hands. I have been thinking about the difference between atheists and God cancellers. I love my atheist friends, of whom I am blessed with many. I relish the existential grist of our talks, the deep sense of substance and mutual respect. I also love the constant jokes. We keep each other honest. I enjoy a rich engagement with the history of thought and I believe we ennoble each other through the kind of trust that is prepared to talk about things that are off limits to others.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Keeping the common good after COVID

    • Anthony Albanese
    • 23 February 2021
    17 Comments

    What we have is a rare opportunity — in all likelihood a once-in-a-lifetime chance — to shape the future and emerge from the pandemic as a better, fairer nation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Seeing the con in reconciliation

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 28 May 2020
    12 Comments

    Reconciliation week itself begins on the 27th May, the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, which granted Aboriginal people the right to be counted in the census. The anniversary of the Mabo ruling in the High Court rounds out the week. Yet every year, I would swear that this week means nothing more to most people in this country than to call on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their workplaces and community to do more work.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    That pastoral edge

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 02 March 2020
    1 Comment

    From just up here, on the lip of mountain mileage, that pooling river mouth below, half salt but also hill-fresh, could seem a lagoon.  On its low point, surmounting asphalt and breaking waters, sits the verandaed pub, a focus once of holiday shorescape.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The saga of zany Granny's memory box

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 July 2019
    6 Comments

    While this saga was going on, I read an alarming piece about the transient nature of the digital world. Mobile phones get stolen and photos not backed up are irrevocably lost; flash drives and their capacities do not last forever. 'Print out' was the author's advice. Who would have thought?

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  • RELIGION

    Christianity tells stories; Islam finds designs

    • Michael McGirr
    • 31 October 2018
    21 Comments

    My year ten class studies Islam, one of the most formative influences in the world that my students will inhabit and hopefully improve. I have a profound respect for Islam. Westerners often fail to acknowledge the debt they owe to Islam, a tradition that had a huge role in bringing Europe through the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stories that can save your life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 October 2018
    5 Comments

    McGirr's reflection on the callowness of racist attitudes in Australia is deepened by Conrad's novel, which describes a white man's journey into the centre of black Africa to search for an acquaintance. But it also explores the river of exploitation that connects the Nile to the Thames, and situates the heart of darkness in Europe.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dress sense or political statement? It's a tie

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 September 2018
    10 Comments

    Collars and ties, or lack of them, can have a specific political application. In 2007 Robert Mugabe, fearsome Zimbabwean dictator, was invited to an EU summit in Lisbon. The Anglican Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, cut up his clerical collar on television and vowed to replace it only after Mugabe had gone.

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  • EDUCATION

    School funding after Batman and Longman

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2018
    28 Comments

    The school funding battle has featured in the last two rounds of federal by-elections. Economics writer Ross Gittins has suggested the Catholics are trying to extract special deals. There are three principles of public policy at play in this ongoing saga, and the consistent and fair application of all three principles is a big political challenge.

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