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  • RELIGION

    When popes fail

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2018
    12 Comments

    This year Easter coincides with the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' election. Anniversaries are times for assessment and measurement. Francis' anniversary has led many to comment on the successes and failures of his papacy. Easter is a doubly appropriate time to reflect on whether the commentators have weighed in correctly.

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  • RELIGION

    I am afraid of dying, but I have hope

    • Moira Rayner
    • 26 March 2018
    5 Comments

    This Easter, and Orthodox Easter, and Passover, and at the changing of the seasons, I am prepared to reassert my faith. That whatever evil brings, compassion, courage and passionate commitment to the old values of honesty, accountability and care for others will bring the enormous change that was promised so long ago.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don't be the Australia Dutton wants us to be

    • David Holdcroft
    • 25 March 2018
    8 Comments

    There are two laws for how to get out of a hole: the first is to acknowledge you are in one. The second is to stop digging. I suspect Peter Dutton won't care too much for this advice. He is clearly enjoying his job, playing the populist card with great aplomb, including recently in his advocacy for white South African farmers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian cricket's great betrayal

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 March 2018
    11 Comments

    The idea of cheating at sport, of setting such a bad example to the young, was quite simply unthinkable then, but now this cricketing episode, I fear, is a disgrace from which Australian sport may never recover. Something ethical, almost spiritual, has gone, and I am left with an acute sense of loss.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cricket cheats blind to the common good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 March 2018
    24 Comments

    As with any activity that involves many people, cricket is shaped by multiple relationships. I would not expect that cricketers be able to articulate what is entailed in these relationships. But I was surprised that some dim awareness of their importance did not make the players hesitate before launching on such a daft adventure.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parliamentary troll alert

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 March 2018
    4 Comments

    In Iceland, the most recent 'troll alert' was only 50 years or so ago, and belief in the mythological troll dies hard. What is interesting to consider regarding the revenant troll of the internet age is where they are congregated. Michaelia Cash's recent outburst suggest we might look no further than our Federal Parliament.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Women's divine rights

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 March 2018

    We know how this is going to turn out historically: the 1971 referendum is successful. There is a certain quaintness to the film that makes it feel off the pace of the current conversation around women's rights. But there is an engaging frankness to its attention to the sexual liberative dimension of women's self-agency.

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  • RELIGION

    A fine line between tolerance and freedom

    • David Holdcroft
    • 22 March 2018
    16 Comments

    As Australia moves to a post-Christian state, there are numerous tendencies to see limits on the expression of religion as some kind of necessity. But religions remain legitimate voices in the political process and life of the community, and the space that permits the hearing of these voices is one of the marks of a healthy democracy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    New ways of gauging films' feminist cred

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 21 March 2018
    1 Comment

    The Bechdel test, which deems there must be two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than men, has become shorthand for gauging gender imbalance in films. But it isn't always a good test. If you take the rules literally, Suicide Squad, which is aggressively misogynistic, passes on a technicality.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Finding freedom after fleeing North Korea

    • Eunhee Park
    • 20 March 2018
    5 Comments

    Freedom is a common word that is often used in our daily lives, but it is not easy to define. Freedom for me means being able to express myself and be outspoken. It means thinking for myself and being free to be curious. Finally it means preserving important economic, social, and cultural rights. I am a North Korean refugee who escaped in 2012 for this freedom.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palm Sunday protests demand a better way

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 March 2018
    15 Comments

    Critics are right to say the marches are ineffectual in the face of bipartisan and popular support for Australia's brutal behaviour. But the faces of those who take part - refugees and activists, older Australians and children, churchgoers and atheists - witness that the Australian community can wear a compassionate face.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dispelling lazy thinking on trade deals

    • David James
    • 19 March 2018
    6 Comments

    The recent furore about Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on steel, from which Australian companies have been exempted, raises an interesting question about the economics discipline. Which is better, an oxymoron or a tautology?

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