Battle with blasphemy

REVIEW BY TIM LAM

BOOK | BLASPHEMY: THE TRUE HEART-BREAKING STORY OF THE WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER A CUP OF WATER | ASIA BIBI

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi has been languishing on death row for the past seven years. A mother of five from an impoverished rural village, she has become an international symbol of Pakistan’s cruel ...

Working Class Hero

FILM |I, DANIEL BLAKE | MA

Review by EMMET O’CUANA

Director Ken Loach opens his latest cinematic polemic with a simple title sequence against a black screen. We hear two voices speak. Their conversation is initially stilted and formal and then slowly becomes frustrating for both parties. The speakers are an assessment officer for the UK government’s Employment and Support ...

Unpolished silver

REVIEW BY EMMET O’CUANA

BOOK | THE SILVER BARON’S WIFE | DONNA BAIER STEIN

Donna Baier Stein’s fictionalised account of Elizabeth ‘Baby Doe’ McCourt Tabor promises much. Here was a woman who lived an incredible life in the latter-half of the 19th century. McCourt was born to Irish immigrant parents in Wisconsin. She escaped an ordinary working life by ...

Judging Jonah

REVIEW BY BOB FASER

BOOK | SYMPATHY FOR JONAH: REFLECTIONS ON HUMILIATION, TERROR, AND THE POLITICS OF ENEMY-LOVE | DAVID BENJAMIN BLOWER

David Blower’s brief (60 pages) study of the Book of Jonah challenges the main foundation of most popular interpretations of this book, i.e., ...

Universal truth?

REVIEW BY NICK MATTISKE

BOOK | INVENTING THE UNIVERSE: WHY WE CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT SCIENCE, FAITH AND GOD | ALISTER MCGRATH

Confronting the New Atheists is a bit like tidying up after toddlers. It’s continuous, there is an amount of tantrum throwing and, ironically ...

All creatures

REVIEW BY REV IAN SMITH

BOOK | ANIMALS IN RELIGION | REV BARBARA ALLEN

This book is timely; in the midst of the growing global concern around climate change and the future of our world as we know and understand it, Barbara has brought a gift, an invitation to add a fresh layer to our discussions. The particular focus ...

Highway to Nell

REVIEW BY GARTH JONES

EXHIBITION | NEϟLL | SHEPPARTON ART MUSEUM

The Maitland raised, Sydney-based Nell opened her eponymous show at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) last month.

Situated about two hours north-east of Melbourne, Shepparton is another regional town, like Maitland, best known for ...

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.

...

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 ...