Asking the big questions

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | A Little History of Religion | Richard Holloway

The ‘Little History’ series is aimed at a younger audience or those wanting a layperson’s introduction to a subject. In this title, Richard Holloway, a one-time bishop who is something of a sceptic, aims to foster critical thinking about religion rather ...

Lessons of history unlearnt

Film | Detroit | MA

Review by TIM LAM

Watching Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit is an uncomfortable experience.

Based on the 1967 Algiers Motel incident, Detroit is a harrowing recreation of institutional racism, injustice and police brutality.

Following reports of a gunshot near the Algiers Motel, a group of rogue cops enter the building and embark on a violent ...

New York stories


Social media | HONY | Brandon Stanton

One week’s notice, one night only and Brandon Stanton hit Melbourne last month to a full house.

“Who is Brandon Stanton?” I hear you ask.

For anyone interested in new ways of telling a story, Brandon’s tale of starting Humans of ...

Making miracles


Book | Miracles: A Very Short Introduction | Yujin Nagasawa

You may know a miracle when you see one, but they are not so easy to define. Or so it seems from this book in Oxford’s A Very Short Introduction series.

For a small book, philosopher Yujin Nagasawa spends a ...

Not quite down the tubes


Book | Darkest Hour | PG

Darkest Hour appears predestined to deliver a gold Oscar to leading man Gary Oldman. But for audiences the reward is a gripping and rousing portrayal of a pivotal moment in modern history, even if the film’s pivotal moment is potentially polarising.

Oldman, largely unrecognisable ...

Rebel yell


Book | Rebel in the Ranks | Brad Gregory

The Reformation is sometimes spoken of as creating the proliferation of churches we see today. It can also been seen as concerning dogmatic nit-picking over religious matters that have little relevance for the majority of society outside the churches.

But for ...

Wishing well


Movie | The Shape of Water | MA15+

The Shape of Water is, like its male romantic lead, something of an oddity.

Directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, it defies easy taxonomy into genre.

The film might be considered a love story where boy meets girl – if ...

God at work

Book | At Work with John’s Gospel | John Bottomley

Review by Tim Lam

In At Work with John’s Gospel, Rev John Bottomley has compiled five bible studies that explore the way God impacts our daily work.

Bottomley is a member of the Creative Ministers Network congregation, which gather bi-monthly in members’ homes or at weekend retreats and ...

Free verse


Book | Milosz: A Biography | Andrzej Franaszek

The idea of literature as a counter to totalitarianism and war may seem a quaint notion to some, but it’s the reason why the Lithuanian/Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz won the Nobel Prize, as this new biography details.

As a young man Milosz witnessed first ...

Site inspection

Review by Rachel Kronberger

Book | Property and Progress for a Pilgrim People | Michael Owen

In his new book Property and Progress for a Pilgrim People, Michael Owen reflects on property in the UCA and asks to whom does a congregation’s property really belong?  Owen argues from the Basis of Union and the Regulations that ...

People power

Review by Julie Perrin and Andy Calder

Book | The Power of Friendship, the Open House story  | Digby Hannah

FROM its beginnings in 1971, Open House Ivanhoe – and now Open House MacLeod – has taken on the characteristics of a  social movement.

Based on research and interviews, author Digby Hannah has compiled ...

Marx for dummies

Review by Garth Jones

Book | Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young | Helen Razer

Eight rich, old, white men control more wealth than the poorest 50 per cent of people on planet Earth.

That’s a depressingly slight percentage of the vaunted 1 per cent which benefited from the Global Financial ...