Keywords: Nation Building

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  • RELIGION

    Is it time to re-think seminaries?

    • Gideon Goosen
    • 23 September 2021
    27 Comments

    The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified clericalism as a significant contributor to abuse across religious institutions Australia-wide. Clericalism is rooted in a theological belief that the clergy are different to the laity, having undergone an ‘ontological change’ at ordination, and feeds the notion that the clergy may not be challenged. And according to the report, the culture of clericalism is on the rise in seminaries in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A disarming day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 September 2021
    7 Comments

    Unlike December 25, September 26 is a World Day that passes by in silence. It calls for the Elimination of all Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear power is too mysterious to understand, too horrific to dwell on, and too far away to take responsibility for. It and its destructive power are unthinkable. And yet it continues to press on us, most recently in the announcement that Australia will build nuclear-powered submarines.

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia’s nuclear submarine trade-off

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 September 2021
    19 Comments

    Defence is a costly business, and few branches of defence are more costly, and questionable, than a country’s submarine capability. Since 2009, Project SEA 1000, the name for Australia’s Future Submarine program, has fascinated strategists and defence planners.  In 2016, this resulted in an agreement with the French submarine company DCNS (now called Naval Group) to build an un-designed attack class vessel. Other contenders in the competitive tender — Germany and Japan, for instance — had existing models. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    The battle for the future of money

    • David James
    • 07 September 2021
    3 Comments

    There is a three-way battle looming over the future of money and the stakes could scarcely be higher. Conventional money, mainly debt created by banks — the ‘folding stuff’ is only a tiny proportion of the total — is in trouble. Total global debt is now so large relative to the world economy it cannot be serviced, which is why monetary authorities have resorted to dropping interest rates. When they almost hit zero, the next step was quantitative easing (QE): printing money by getting the central bank to buy back government and corporate bonds and putting them on its ‘balance sheet’. 

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Consulting the faithful

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 August 2021
    29 Comments

    One might submit that a Plenary Council is a cumbersome instrument to ascertain the genuinely representative views of the Catholic Church in Australia. Many of the canonical strictures regarding the membership, agenda and process of the Council will dampen the original enthusiasm for the Council that provoked over 17,500 submissions.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Why Afghanistan matters

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 August 2021
    14 Comments

    Most early commentary on the swift coming to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan has focused on how it happened and who was to blame for it. Much of the blame has been focused on United States President Biden and former President Trump. Increasingly attention has turned to the plight of people in Afghanistan, particularly women and those who helped the occupation forces and women. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civilization as intervention

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2021
    10 Comments

    The New York Times editorial on 15 August was all about tragedy in describing the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. ‘Tragic because the American dream of being the “indispensable nation” in shaping a world where the values of civil rights, women’s empowerment and religious tolerance rule proved to be just that: a dream.’

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unmarked graves in Canada raise questions about Australia’s stolen children

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 12 August 2021
    9 Comments

    Across the Pacific Ocean, in Canada or ‘Turtle Island’ as it is also known by many of its Indigenous inhabitants, a horror has been unfolding. It started at a the former residential school in Kamloops, British Colombia where, via the use of ground penetrating radar technology, the remains of at least 215 Native Canadian children were found buried in mass unmarked gravesites. This school ran for 85 years, was part of compulsory government programs to forcibly assimilate these children, and was administered by the Catholic Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Critical Race Theory and the question of social sin

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 August 2021
    49 Comments

    Critical Race Theory, which has recently been banned ineffectively by the Australian Senate from the National Curriculum, has everything going for it as a lightning rod. It has an acronym (CRT), opacity and an air of self-importance. It is also associated with a controversial social movement: Black Lives Matter. The theory does not need to be understood before generating heat.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Why we need to think communally in lockdown

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 29 July 2021
    6 Comments

    The despair induced by daily infection and death tallies would be, in normal times, ameliorated to some extent by one’s workaday routine. And the crisis would be borne in togetherness — an impossible response, since the pandemic calls on us to withdraw into ourselves rather than draw together.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    As nuclear waste storage Bill passes, the fight continues

    • Michele Madigan
    • 26 July 2021
    14 Comments

    For several decades, successive federal governments have tried but failed to establish a national nuclear waste repository, primarily to take waste from the nuclear research reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights, 30 km south of Sydney. Currently a site near Kimba on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula is being targeted.

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