From Mount Isa to Darwin

A car trip with some old mates has introduced me to a part of Australia I’d never visited but which people who grew up in this country instinctively feel at home in. We passed through a largely uninhabited landscape where nothing much happens. At one stage to the east of Tennant Creek the road ran perfectly straight for half an hour, and this in […]

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Christos Yannaras’ Variations on the Song of Songs (2005)

The long tradition of commentary on this most steamy book of the Bible continues, although what the contemporary Greek thinker Christos Yannaras offers is not so much commentary as a series of reflections, almost responses to the text, which are introduced in musical terms. They describe territory familiar to many people. Hence, the words My beloved is mine and I am his. He […]

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Mining the Census

Results from the Australian census of 2011 are in, and number crunchers have been working the data. Someone has correlated religious belief with postcodes, and found that belief is highest in remote Indigenous communities and lowest in the counter-cultural town of Nimbin. Within the cities, inner areas are the strongholds of non-sbelievers; if you take a freeway out of the […]

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She’s Leaving Home

Twice in the past few weeks I’ve heard on the radio arrangements of an old song by the Beatles, She’s Leaving Home, made by people who would be generally regarded as serious composers. A friend tells me she has also heard orchestrations of Eleanor Rigby, and come to think of it I’m sure I have heard Norwegian Wood being treated in […]

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Differences between the Christian East and West

Two scholars dealing with different issues suggest differences in the ways in which the Eastern and Western Christian traditions operate. Discussing the ways in which the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions approach the problem of divorce, Cl. Gallagher quotes the words of another author: ‘The crucial difference between the two disciplines lies not in the fact that one accepts divorce and […]

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Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Repentance and Purification (continued)

In his presentation of the thought of St Gregory Palamas, Anestis Keselopoulos observes: ‘Summoning up all the characteristic traits of a believer who lives his repentance, Palamas describes him as mild and calm, full of mercy and compassion for others.’ How do we get there? ‘Spiritual mourning is the basic precondition for man’s exodus from bondage to the passions and […]

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