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10-16 January

A former Dean of Perth's remarks on the Resurrection cause an international stir; China's rulers plan their own Bible translation as they crack down on Christians; and the beach as Australia's spiritual heart.

January 16 2019 


WA Anglicans rally behind former church head over resurrection furore

The Revd Dr John Shepherd comes under fire over 11-year-old remarks as he prepares to take over interim leadership of the Anglican Centre in Rome and to act as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See. Elle Farcic reports for The West Australian.


In China, they’re closing churches, jailing pastors – and even rewriting scripture

Britain’s Observer newspaper reports on a Chinese Communist Party plan for a new state translation of the Bible to establish what it regards as a “correct understanding” of the text.


Brexit: What next?

Church Times, in an editorial after the latest anguish in the UK over what to do about Europe, backs one MP’s suggestion to “remain and reform” as the most sensible option as the Brexit deadline looms.


Religious freedom in schools

Ruddock Religious Freedom panel member and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan writes in Eureka Street that religious schools should not be able to discriminate against students on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity but should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably. “… It is not for the state to rewrite the Bible or Koran,” he writes.


Sex offender registries don’t prevent re-offending (and vigilante justice is real)

Apart from the political appeal of being seen to crack down on crime, evidence shows public sex offender registers do more harm than good, social worker and criminal lawyer Maggie Hall writes in The Conversation.


New York bishop William Love appeals against Presiding Bishop’s restriction of ministry

Bishop William Love tells his Diocese of Albany that he will appeal against a temporary restriction on his ministry imposed by Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry, which aims to prevent Bishop Love from taking disciplinary action against any clergy who carry out same-sex marriages.


Martyrs’ mass grave found in Libya

A mass grave containing the bodies of 34 Ethiopian Christians martyred in 2015 by Islamic State (IS) has been discovered in Sirte, Libya, the Barnabas Fund reports in an article posted on Archbishop Philip Freier’s website as Anglican Primate of Australia.


Dementia and religion: ‘What if I forget about God?’

For people of faith facing dementia, the question “What if I forget about God?” is a troubling one, Adelle M. Banks reports for the US-based Religion News Service.


Heaven on earth: the ancient roots of your backyard garden

Gardens are bound to their political and religious history, with the Book of Genesis recording that creation began in Eden, the “garden of God”. Having lost our privileged access to this divine garden because of sin, we perpetually try to re-create it – in our homes, in our cities, in our heads, writes Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides in The Conversation.


Why Australia's beaches are the spiritual centre of a secular nation

“We are a secular nation but if we have a spiritual place, somewhere where we might access the divine, it is in the ocean,” writes Brigid Delaney in The Guardian Australia.