Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture


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Facebook is ripping society apart, and other reasons to abandon social media

15 Dec 2017  |  Author: Toni Hassan  | Theme: Civil society and politics; Leadership and institutions

When Chamath Palihapitiya joined Facebook in 2007, it had 50 million users. By the time he left after four years, it had 800 million. He was its vice-president for user growth. These days, he feels tremendously guilty. "I think we all knew in the back of our minds, even though we feigned this whole line that there probably aren't any bad consequences, I think in the deep recesses of our minds we kind of knew something bad could happen," he told the Stanford Business School last month and reported for the first time this week.

New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance

08 Dec 2017  |  Author: Dr Douglas Hynd  | Theme: Civil society and politics; Public theology and ethics

Douglas Hynd reviews Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, edited by Geoffrey Troughton. Contemporary critiques of Christianity, whether as institution or ideology, commonly involve pointing to it as an unquestionable source of violence. Such critiques usually fail to note the recurring traditions of Christian dissent that have claimed peacemaking and abstention from violence as being at its heart. A minority report certainly, but one with a long history.

Schoolies, booze and the industry's battle to get teens addicted to drink

22 Nov 2017  |  Author: Toni Hassan  | Theme: Civil society and politics; Leadership and institutions

It's schoolies week season. Not taking any risks, an acquaintance with a 17-year old daughter booked a trip for her and her friend to a tropical island, each with their father. Anything to avoid an underage booze-up. It's that time of year when there's a rash of parties that provide alcohol to children. The school formals are (meant to be) alcohol-free but the pre and post-formal parties are not.

The Manus Island horror story stains us

03 Nov 2017  |  Author: Toni Hassan  | Theme: Civil society and politics; Public theology and ethics

The closure of Australia's detention camp on the poor Papua New Guinea province of Manus Island happened on Halloween, of all days. The symbolism wasn't lost on those of us appalled by what's been an Australian-government-orchestrated horror story. This fluid crisis could have been avoided well before the PNG Supreme Court ruled the camp was illegal. Hundreds of men, many found to be genuine refugees, are now truly forsaken. Only about 60 have agreed, under some pressure, to move to three incomplete so-called transit centres that will lead to destinations unknown. Many more, about 600, would rather stay in the shell of the detention centre with no electricity, water or food than to "transfer" or walk into the Manus Island community and face violence at the hands of locals or police.

Stephen Pickard's response to The Making of the Mahatma - The Markings of the Outsider-Writer

12 Oct 2017  |  Author:   | Theme: Public theology and ethics; Civil society and politics

It is an honour to be invited to give this brief response to Professor Nandan’s address tonight. Thank you Professor Nandan for bringing Gandhi alive for us. In his address Professor Nandan has identified some of the key elements of Mohandas Gandhi’s remarkable impact and continuing legacy not only for the people of India but the world. Gandhi galvanized the Indian nationalist movement through the force of his life and practical non-violent resistance to British rule. And as Professor Nandan reminds us Gandhi’s legacy was not only in the political realm but also as a writer with over 100 volumes of collected writings and an influence that touched one of Australia’s great writers Patrick White.


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