Religion

Simon Caterson reviews 'The Book of the People: How to read the Bible' by A.N. Wilson

Simon Caterson
26 July 2016

According to A.N. Wilson, the Bible is badly misread by those fundamentalists, whether believers or atheists, who choose to read it in a literal-minded way rather than as ...

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Simon Caterson reviews 'Australian Catholic Lives' by Edmund Campion

Simon Caterson
29 May 2015

‘Most history is simply lost.’ By means of a regular biographical column in the Jesuit magazine Madonna published over the past twenty-five years, Father Edmund Campion has preserved pieces of Australian personal history that might otherwise have been neglected, if not forgotten altogether. In this, the author’s second collection of biographical sketche ... More

Simon Caterson reviews 'Mannix' by Brenda Niall

Simon Caterson
25 March 2015

With her long-awaited life of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, Brenda Niall, one of Australia’s leading biographers, has conquered a subject that for decades she regarded as compelling yet ‘intractable’. ‘As a presence (I wouldn’t claim such a remote and magisterial being as a neighbour) Daniel Mannix was part of my childhood,’ Niall recalls. She grew up in the ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'The Prince'

Ray Cassin
30 October 2013

Church leaders have rarely become national public figures, let alone objects of political contention, in Australia. Since Federation, the number who could be so described can be counted on fewer than the fingers of one hand. There is Ernest Burgmann, the Anglican prelate who earned the sobriquet ‘the red bishop’ for his espousal of left-wing causes during ... More

Tony Coady reviews 'Why Priests?'

Tony Coady
26 September 2013

Garry Wills is a distinguished American historian whose writings over the past twenty years or so on the frailties of the Catholic Church, notably in such books as Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000) and Why I Am a Catholic (2002), have provided stinging critiques of the institution to which he still steadfastly belongs. His new book, < ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'Unholy Trinity'

Ray Cassin
26 August 2013

Many people have heard of Gerald Ridsdale, defrocked Catholic priest of the diocese of Ballarat and a notorious convicted paedophile. But comparatively few people have heard of Ridsdale’s contemporary John Day. A priest in the same diocese, he too preyed upon many hundreds of children who came under his pastoral care. Ridsdale, who for a time served as Day’s cur ... More

Ray Cassin on The Life of Pope Pius XII

Ray Cassin
27 May 2013

Not the least portent of change in the Catholic Church since the Argentine Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis earlier this year has been mounting speculation that the new pontiff will disclose all documents in the Vatican archives concerning the most controversial of his twentieth-century predecessors, Eugenio Pacelli, who reigned as Pius XII from 19 ... More

Philip Harvey reviews 'A Short History of Christianity' by Geoffrey Blainey

Philip Harvey
22 May 2012

Any recent ‘big picture’ church history will suffer by comparison with Diarmaid MacCulloch’s A History of Christianity (2009). That book discovers all manner of new evidence More

Wilfrid Prest reviews 'The Reformation of the Landscape' by Alexandra Walsham

Wilfrid Prest
24 November 2011

Australian universities have long taught early modern (c.1500–1750) English/British and European history, but with Alexandra Walsham’s recent appointment as the first female t More

George Levine: The Joy of Secularism

Tamas Pataki
24 November 2011

The limits of enchantment

Tamas Pataki

 

The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now
edited by George Levine
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $46.95 hb, 272 pp, 9780691149103

 

The war of religion currently being fought with fusil ... More

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