keywords: Ben Coleridge

  • INTERNATIONAL

    The small-l liberal tradition of brutal border control

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 12 July 2013
    8 Comments

    Many on the left might shudder at the mention of Philip Ruddock or think that his views on migration control were extreme and 'illiberal'. But in fact his views rested on mainstream liberal ideas of limited freedom. In Australia the concepts offered by the liberal tradition have been employed by both sides of politics to give a 'reasonable' varnish to inhumane migration control policies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Solidarity on Europe's horizons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 June 2013
    1 Comment

    At present all that seems to unite European citizens is the negative sentiment of 'Euroscepticism'. There's a gulf between citizens' opinions, and the policies pursued to solve Europe's most pressing problems. For committed Europeans the important discussions to be had now aren't just concerned with institutional design, but with 'the fundamental questions'. Enter the philosophers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pilgrims in the landscape of lament

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 April 2013
    7 Comments

    He was the same age as me and had the same name. But he looked old. He'd left Nigeria and walked to Macedonia; four years of walking. His feet were covered in callouses, dried and thickened. In the course of these wanderings he had been kidnapped, beaten and starved. The irregular migrants in Macedonia have come to the end of the road.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Party games in darkening Canberra

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 March 2013
    10 Comments

    Our political leaders are suffering from the disenchantment of the electorate. Canberra and its political hackery has less appeal now than it's had for a long time. It might be worth listening to Bob Hawke, who recently unwittingly echoed the seniment of French philosopher Simone Weil's essay 'On the Abolition of All Political Parties'.

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  • RELIGION

    We need a pope who can handle the truth

    • Brian Lucas
    • 11 March 2013
    15 Comments

    Effective chief executives are those who work with collaborators who are better at most things than they are. The next pope needs to collaborate with the best theologians, communicators, diplomats and administrators, and have the strength of character to surround himself with those who will not defer to his status but tell him the truth.

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  • RELIGION

    Church blame in the frame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 March 2013
    37 Comments

    There is a temptation to see justice, compassion and transparency as the obsessive concern of western liberals. They are much more universal than that; they are the contemporary, institutional rendition of gospel values. The unaccountable hiddenness of Vatican clericalism has reached its use-by date.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Freewheeling fantasies of European citizenship

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 February 2013
    1 Comment

    Does citizenship need to be built upon close cultural, linguistic and historical ties, as in a national community? Or can a broader conception of citizenship be formed? In Brussels I spot a mural of a mosque on a garage door, surrounded by people from North Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, speaking French, Flemish, English and Arabic.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 25 January 2013
    15 Comments

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama and Romney's shallow thinking on drones

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 30 October 2012
    3 Comments

    Obama has overseen an upsurge in the use of unmanned drones. This is one aspect of foreign policy on which he and Romney agree. But drone use raises difficult questions about the conduct of war, and there is no room for complacency or superficial reasoning. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a Florence tour guide

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 August 2012
    6 Comments

    All is not quite lost. There's still Michelangelo's David in the Academia — that's 'famous' and always makes for a good Facebook album cover. But after queuing for two hours, you feel rather underwhelmed — David isn't the 20m high statue of a ripped male you had been expecting, and there isn't a secret passageway leading from his gluteus maximus to a torture chamber beneath the Vatican.

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  • RELIGION

    Imagining nationalism through Anzac suffering

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 23 April 2012
    10 Comments

    Political theorist Isaiah Berlin argued that nationalism manifests most strongly in communities that have suffered some wound. In a period of unparalleled wealth, in which most Australians are far removed from war, Anzac Day is a way of instructing ourselves about the place of suffering in Australia's history.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Banning Dante's Divine Comedy is a human tragedy

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 March 2012
    17 Comments

    The 17th century Ottoman traveller Evliya Celebi's Book of Travels describes Christians as pigs for slaughter. Yet its beautifully imagined world is open to Christian readers who can forgive the comparison. In the same way Dante has much to offer beyond derogatory depictions of gays, Jews and Muslims.

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