keywords: Oman

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  • RELIGION

    Epiphany defeats hobgoblin evil

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2019

    One reason for the importance of Epiphany in Eastern Orthodoxy is the belief that Christmas is a period during which the world is threatened by various wicked spirits, most particularly the kallikantzaroi, the spirits of the dead: at this time they emerge from Hades (via a cave not too far from where I live) and roam the Earth.

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  • RELIGION

    Don't knock secular Christmas

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 December 2018
    17 Comments

    The point of the involvement of God in the minute details of human life is to assert the value of the human world in all its relationships. This means that the customs and practices of our Australian Christmas should not be dismissed as a corrupted and so inferior version of the Christian celebration. They should be appreciated in their own right.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Christmas carol for a divided world

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 December 2018
    2 Comments

    In this season, I usually re-read A Christmas Carol, that timeless tour de force of the Dickensian imagination. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to the shops, where the former restores good humour to squabbling delivery boys. For, they said, it was a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Christmas through the ages

    • Jenny Blackford
    • 19 December 2018
    5 Comments

    At twelve, halfway through too many stifling hours crammed in the Holden station wagon, three girls munch Mum's ham sandwiches in a Rotary park ... At thirty, waifs-and-strays Christmases with friends in our adopted southern city.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Melbourne punks are at the forefront of protest

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 18 December 2018
    3 Comments

    While Melbourne has long been the city of protest, it is also a major global centre for quality protest music. The songs are defiant, political, loud and proud; they're staunch, they're angry, they're educative, they're funny and they demand to be listened to. These local bands are full of women, queer-identifying people, or people of colour.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scenes from the Land of Frankincense

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 December 2018
    2 Comments

    How delightful to see this country's mosques suffused with the scent of frankincense — not just on celebratory days, but always. And what a surprise it is to find that this place in whose proximity Christianity unfolded smells exactly — precisely — like Christmas.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's Christmas cognitive dissonance

    • Amy Thunig
    • 13 December 2018
    6 Comments

    I cannot help but think about the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe you hold not only the rights to an entire holiday, but also the moral high ground, all while occupying buildings built on stolen lands. The migration of this celebration to this continent did not happen in isolation from the violence of invasion and colonisation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Modern day hearts of darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 December 2018
    14 Comments

    A commentator recently described most politicians as being professional liars, and it can be argued that they tend to deceive themselves as well. Many can be compared with Heart of Darkness's Kurtz, who hid 'in the magnificent folds of his eloquence the barren darkness of his heart'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Suggestions regarding space and time

    • Robert Whalley
    • 11 December 2018
    3 Comments

    Curve it the way neck curves to shoulders, like the inside of an elbow, like a valley in spring. And send it out like glorious orphan; hovering in the style of infinite with no immediate purpose in mind in the unsubtle audacity of now.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform scorecard

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2018
    34 Comments

    Scoring the performance of the Australian church is a complex task at any time. Dioceses and congregations vary enormously. The mission of church agencies continues unabated in education, health, social services and aged care. But by any measure 2018 has been a big year.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We still need libraries and book stores

    • Mary Dalmau
    • 07 December 2018
    16 Comments

    While it is said we read to know we are not alone, it is also true that libraries and bookstores are communal places, providing a safe environment for all and filling vital, societal roles. Of all my interactions over the years with readers, customers and library patrons, two instances remain strong in my memory.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The migrant caravan was born of calamity

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 03 December 2018
    5 Comments

    When government corruption is chronic and the streets are ruled by armed gangs, there are no collective funds for quality health care or education. The thousands of migrants at the US border are fleeing the effects of climate change, wide-scale government corruption, brutal state violence, and flourishing non-state gang rule.

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