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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Second Amendment logic: The arming of school teachers

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 June 2022
    4 Comments

    In the context of mass school shootings in the United States, the latest of which took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a crude form of deterrence has made an appearance. To be safer, you do not remove guns, but spread them through a policy of mutually assured terror. Any gun toting individual entering the school grounds will think twice before encountering the hail of bullets from a protective teacher. Gun control, accordingly, becomes anathema.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wit, irony and the Australian vernacular: Remembering Brian Matthews

    • John Schumann
    • 15 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Most of us, when pushed, can name a couple of teachers who had a profound influence on our lives. For me, Brian Matthews was one such teacher. I enrolled in English at Flinders University in 1972. On asking the enrolling officer whether anybody was ‘doing anything about Lawson’, I was directed to the office of Brian Matthews, a recent appointment to the English Department. ‘I hear you know something about Lawson,’ I said, leaning in his doorway.

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  • RELIGION

    East Timor’s cardinal leap forward

    • Pat Walsh
    • 15 June 2022
    1 Comment

    While the church in East Timor has its hands full serving its large membership, a big challenge is to work out what its role should be in post-war Timor. Rather than entrench its comfortable status quo, Cardinal Virgilio, educated in the Philippines and from an order skilled in youth education, must ensure that the church’s new status is used to move it towards the model advocated by Pope Francis.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Wanted: A liberal dose of climate action

    • Stephen Minas
    • 09 June 2022
    4 Comments

    The Liberal wipeout in inner-city electorates is without precedent in Australian politics. For the Liberal Party, ‘existential crisis’ is not an overstatement. As the party founded by Robert Menzies finds itself in the hall of mirrors, climate policy should be a major focus of critical self-appraisal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: Class in Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2022
    1 Comment

    As I was reading the illuminating contributions to Class in Australia  I had to confront my attitudes to Marxist analysis, to the claims of sociology, social work and psychology to be sciences, to the relative importance of inequality based on wealth, gender and race, and to any claim that canonises individual choice while claiming to be value free.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the name of Kyrill

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 May 2022
    4 Comments

    Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow has received much justified criticism for aligning his Church alongside Vladimir Putin in the invasion of Ukraine. If we are to understand how he could think it is right to do so, however, it is helpful to know how he came to be Kyrill. The story of his earlier namesakes illuminate the conduct of the present Patriarch of Moscow. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Can financial fictions survive reality?

    • David James
    • 31 May 2022
    2 Comments

    As commodity prices and inflation soar in the ‘real’ world we may be witnessing a prelude to another 2008-style crisis triggered by the foreign exchange markets. The risks certainly look similar and can be described with a simple question. Can the fictions produced by out-of-control financial actors survive reality? 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The pity of war

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 May 2022
    11 Comments

    In the photo I have just seen Vadim Shishimarin is in the dock, hanging his head. He is 21, but looks about 15 as he stands there in the polycarbonate box, the first Russian soldier to be charged and tried in Ukraine for a war crime. He holds the rank of sergeant and was a tank commander. At 21? (I’m embarrassed to recall how immature I was at 21.) It is likely he has a mother: I wonder how she is feeling right now, but think I can make a good guess.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stalin’s patriarchate

    • Stephen Minas
    • 23 May 2022
    1 Comment

    ‘We removed him from the mausoleum’, wrote the Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. ‘But how do we remove Stalin from Stalin’s heirs?’ The poem was published in 1962 but it’s still a good question. Today one of Stalin’s heirs commands a barbaric war against Ukraine with the enthusiastic cheerleading of another such heir – the leader of the Moscow Patriarchate reestablished by Stalin.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war in Ukraine: A Roundtable

    • Andrew Hamilton, David Halliday, Michele Frankeni, Stewart Braun
    • 19 May 2022
    3 Comments

    We are now three months into the Ukraine war. From an invasion it has turned into a war of attrition that has cost many lives, displaced civilians, destroyed cities, and led to sanctions and the making of alliances with effects that have spread suffering far beyond Ukraine. In this Roundtable, Andrew Hamilton SJ, David Halliday, Michele Frankeni and Dr Stewart Braun explore the ethics of the war and likely paths to peace.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Uluru Statement, the Constitution and the Election

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 May 2022
    3 Comments

    Whoever is Prime Minister after the election on May 21, he will need to address the question of Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution. This is the sixth election in a row when the question has been a live, unresolved issue during the election campaign. The patience of Indigenous leaders is understandably wearing thin. Trust is waning. There is still no clear path ahead. So where to from here?  

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  • RELIGION

    Elections and the Episcopal gaze

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 May 2022
    6 Comments

    We should not underestimate the difficulty that people who represent independent branches of the same organization face when drawing up an agreed statement on contentious issues. Even the widely applauded Uluru Statement from the Heart did not secure the support of all Indigenous groups. If the Bishops Statement was to be effective it had to be supported, or at least tolerated, by all members of the Conference, despite their differing views about political and church issues and the priority that should be given to them in advocacy. 

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