Australian stories

DOCUMENTARY | THE BAULKHAM HILLS AFRICAN LADIES TROUPE

Review by Deb Bennett

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe documents writer Ros Horin’s involvement with a group of women from the migrant community of Baulkham Hills, west of Sydney. The film is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the journey of four women as their incredible stories of survival are turned into an internationally ...

Challenging stereotypes

Review by TIM LAM

BOOK | WHEN MICHAEL MET MINA | RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH

What happens when a teenager from an anti-immigration family meets a young Afghan refugee? That is the premise of Randa Abdel-Fattah’s latest young adult novel, When Michael Met Mina.

Michael is a high school student who wants to study design when he graduates. His parents are ...

Enemy within

Review by Garth Jones

BOOK | AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE TIME OF TRUMP | DON WATSON

AS the United States prepares to head to one of the most divisive Presidential polls in history, author and speechwriter Don Watson returns with his second Quarterly Essay.

Watson, a former speechwriter for Paul Keating, adopts a travelogue structure, similar to his 2008 ...

Playing God

Review by Emmet O’Cuana

VIDEO GAME | DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION

I did not expect to find myself reflecting on the nature of religion while playing a horned giant ‘Qunari’ using magic spells to fend off attacks from a demon horde. But then Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game full of surprises.

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

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The legacy of Augustine

Review by Nick Mattiske

BOOK | ON AUGUSTINE | ROWAN WILLIAMS

Born in 354 AD, Saint Augustine was a modern thinker, relentless in his inquiring, and insightful on the formation of the self, traits that endear him to the secular as well as religious reader. But – just as playing a Beethoven symphony on a ukulele may result in the ...

Letters home

Review by Renate Howe

BOOK | DEAR FAMILY: LETTERS FROM ARNHEM LAND 1962-1966 | BETH GRAHAM

How fortunate that these letters, written 50 years ago while Beth Graham and her husband Leigh were Methodist missionaries at Yirrkala and Croker Island in the Northern Territory, have survived. Their publication is a significant contribution to understanding an important era in Australian ...

Reasonable to believe

Review by David Southwell

BOOK | BEYOND BELIEF | HUGH MACKAY

Beyond Belief is both a survey of contemporary Australian approaches to spirituality and a polemic tract outlining the author’s view of how God, Jesus and the Bible should be understood.

One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the strong first-person stories that Mackay collects from people ...

Reason to believe

Review by NICK MATTISKE

BOOK | GOD IS NO THING: COHERENT CHRISTIANITY | RUPERT SHORTT

There is a strain of English Christianity that sees faith as entirely reasonable and sensible, like packing an umbrella when the weather looks inclement.

We see it in the theology of Alister McGrath and John Polkinghorne, who make arguments from natural theology, who explain how ...

Born to preach

Review by GARTH JONES

TELEVISION | PREACHER | MA

Critic Adam Marshall, writing for Christianity Today, characterises AMC Television’s adaptation of cult graphic novel Preacher as being part of the presently popular vanguard of superhero entertainment.

Reflecting upon these stories as miracle narratives in which good reliably triumphs over cosmic evil, Marshall characterises Preacher protagonist Rev Jesse Custer as a ...

Please disturb

Review by Bob Faser

BOOK | DISTURBING MUCH, DISTURBING MANY: THEOLOGY PROVOKED BY THE BASIS OF UNION | GEOFF THOMPSON

Since 1977, there have been numerous studies of the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia. Nevertheless, this recent volume by Rev Dr Geoff Thompson (coordinator of Studies in Systematic Theology, Pilgrim Theological College) breaks new ground.

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