30 May 2019 | Author: Toni Hassan | Theme: Civil society and politics; Leadership and institutions
History is littered with examples where propaganda has led to appalling acts of violence. That's why the rise of social media in the hands of extreme groups is a deep concern, as is the role of public figures in potentially inflaming hate. Who could forget Rwanda. Twenty-five years ago this month the world heard of the genocide against the Tutsi. I was in South Africa covering that country's historic election of Nelson Mandela as its first publicly chosen president, a moment of euphoria, when shocking news trickled in of the mass murder of up to 70 per cent of Rwanda's Tutsi people by members of the Hutu majority.
24 May 2019 | Author: Douglas Hynd | Theme: Civil society and politics; Public theology and ethics
This paper explores community and government engagement by Dovetonn Baptist Church, a congregation in a suburb on the edge of Melbourne that emerged out of the postwar boom and has been shaped by the subsequent decline of manufacturing. The narrative that I present draws on an extended interview with the pastor of the Church that explored in a reflective way the nature and impact of the Church’s engagement with the community and government and the relationship of that engagement to the mission of the congregation. The involvement of the congregation extends beyond welfare provision into community building more generally. Important themes that emerge are the entanglement of Church and state at a local government level and the porous boundaries between welfare provision, community building and the Church’s mission. The theological account of that mission is Christologically grounded in the life of the congregation.
08 Apr 2019 | Author: Peter Hooton | Theme: Public theology and ethics; Civil society and politics
Most Australians believe that climate change is real and worry about its implications—for their future prosperity, their health, and their physical security. A majority of Australians do not believe their governments (state and federal) to be doing enough about climate change and want the Federal Government to provide leadership in this area. Most Australians want an end to coal-fired power generation within twenty years, and blame privatisation, profiteering and a policy vacuum (rather than renewables) for increasing electricity prices. We must surely now be approaching a tipping-point where incumbent and aspiring politicians who refuse to take seriously the threat posed by a rapidly warming world become finally and irrevocably unelectable.
28 Mar 2019 | Author: Satendra Nandan | Theme: Civil society and politics; Public theology and ethics
Yesterday, Friday 15 of March, cast a terribly devastating shadow across our immediate region. Call it the Ides of March, the Darkest Day, Black Friday: nothing captures the immense tragedy of this deadliest attack in a place of worship for a community in Christchurch.
22 Mar 2019 | Author: Douglas Hynd | Theme: Public theology and ethics; Religions and dialogue
The Australian government has established offshore mandatory and indefinite detention for asylum seekers. The UNHCR has described the situation on Manus Island as a humanitarian emergency, with men living in constant fear of attack. The reluctance of Border Force to bring a man from Nauru to Australia for palliative care displays no respect for the humanity of asylum seekers, even in their dying. Members of families have been kept separated despite illness. Beyond this the government is instituting a range of policies that seem to be directed at making life evermore difficult for all asylum seekers instead of treating people seeking refuge with respect and care while their claims are assessed.