News Stand

Newsstand 27 February - 4 March

Author and theologians talk St Paul, Hebrew songs heard for the first time in thousands of years, Jean Vanier abuse allegations, religion and the coronavirus in Korea, CoE "institutionally racist", and the scare campaign around the religious freedom bill.

March 4 2020

Damascus author talks St Paul with theologians

Watch Australian author Christos Tsiolkas discuss St Paul, the protagonist of his novel Damascus at a panel discussion on the book at Ridley College on 12 February, moderated by Bishop Paul Barker and featuring Ridley Principal the Revd Dr Brian Rosner and lecturer at Trinity College the Revd Dr Fergus King.


‘As if they were written yesterday’: the global project bringing 3,000-year-old songs back to life

They were gathered up to 3,000 years ago, but the 150 songs that became the Hebrew Tehillim and then the Old Testament’s Book of Psalms – songs about abandonment, powerlessness and suffering – are as relevant today, in a world marked by refugees, oppression, hastily erected barriers and closed minds, as they were then.


N.T. Wright: the New Testament Is Clear on Female Preachers

“The usual idea that women were kept down in the ancient world and it’s only recently that feminism has brought them back up is quite wrong,” theologian N.T. Wright argues. Professor Wright, who with Ridley College’s Mike Bird recently published The New Testament in its World, said women who had some authority in the church and society were not anathema in the ancient world. “There were lots of independent women in Paul’s world and that was something Paul worked with.”


Reeling from the Jean Vanier abuse allegations?

For those wrestling with faith after another Christian leader is exposed.


Surrender conference

Melbourne Anglican priest the Revd Glenn Loughrey, Indigenous pastor Uncle Ray Minniecon and Aboriginal Christian Leader and Common Grace CEO Brooke Prentis are among the speakers at this year’s Surrender, a conference to inspire Christians to respond to the radical call of Jesus to the margins.


How religion is playing a role in the spread of coronavirus in Korea

Religion is at the centre of many lives in Korea. Now it’s at the centre of a rapidly spreading contagion. The largest number of Covid-19 infections outside of China is now in Korea. Health officials there have confirmed more than 1,000 cases and the virus has so far killed 11 people. About half those cases are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a group the government describes as a cult, prompting officials to test all 200,000 of its followers.


Church of England "still deeply institutionally racist": Archbishop of Canterbury

The Church of England is "still deeply institutionally racist", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. The Most Revd Justin Welby said at a meeting of the Church's ruling body, the General Synod, that he was "ashamed" of its history of racism. Mr Welby's words came as Synod members backed a motion to apologise for racism in the Church of England since the arrival of the Windrush generation.


US Presidential candidate Joe Biden touts his Catholic faith in campaign ad

Biden, a baptised Catholic, said in the ad that “faith is what has gotten me through difficult times in my life,” including the deaths of his first wife, eldest daughter in a car accident, and his son Beau’s death from brain cancer. 


The priest delivering food aid in a drought-stricken parish

Anglican priest the Revd Brian Schmalkuche has clocked up 375,000 kilometres in only six years on his car, a by-product of zigzagging between tiny towns and remote properties offering pastoral care and assistance accessing drought relief.


Scare campaign against religious bill not justified

All federal, state and territory anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. But discrimination based on religious belief or activity has no federal anti-discrimination law protection, limited Fair Work Act protection, and no protection in NSW or in South Australia. We would not put up with those gaps for other discrimination, so why should we for religious discrimination?