Material world

Review by Nick Mattiske

BOOK | MATERIALISM | TERRY EAGLETON

Terry Eagleton can usually be relied upon for a left-field viewpoint on religion, politics and culture, both in the senses of the political left and the simply surprising. In his latest book, he investigates the concept of materialism (the philosophical concept rather than the idea of hording riches) in ...

Breaking points


Review by Penny Mulvey

PLAY | THREE LITTLE WORDS | JOANNA MURRAY-SMITH

Have you ever experienced a deep visceral response to friends’ news that they are breaking up? Perhaps you have seen them as the perfect couple? You cannot imagine them as individuals.

This is the premise of playwright Joanna Murray-Smith’s latest offering, Three Little Words, currently showing ...

Border Farce

Review by NICK MATTISKE

BOOK | VIOLENT BORDERS | BY REECE JONES | VERSO

IN 2015, 3700 people died trying to enter Europe. In the decade previous, 40,000 people, possibly one-in-four who stepped on a boat, lost their lives.
How do we stop this?

Much hysterical press focuses on deterrence, which assumes refugees have a choice. In Violent ...

Indigenous Visions

Review by NICK MATTISKE

BOOK | OUR MOB, GOD’S STORY: ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ARTISTS SHARE THEIR FAITH  | EDITED BY LOUISE SHERMAN AND CHRISTOBEL MATTINGLEY

IN one of last year’s better books, Position Doubtful, Kim Mahood wrote about how Indigenous peoples don’t just passively receive good and bad elements of introduced European culture, but instead adapt, innovate, ...

Home truths

Review by NIGEL TAPP

BOOK | CRIMES OF THE FATHER | BY TOM KENEALLY | PENGUIN

RENOWNED author and former seminarian Tom Keneally is no stranger to writing about the Catholic Church as well as the issue of child sex abuse by the clergy.

His memoir Homebush Boy and An Angel in Australia are two examples.

He has returned ...

Space race triumph


Review by ANN BYRNE

FILM | HIDDEN FIGURES | PG

IT’S about time – and it’s about space. It’s about gender and it’s about race.

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of three black women working at NASA in the early 1960s – Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), a brilliant mathematician/physicist; Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), supervisor ...

Family tragedy


Review by PENNY MULVEY

BOOK AND FILM | THE FAMILY

Cult def: a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.

A powerful light has shone through the gloom, the secrecy, and the layers of subterfuge and power to ...

Good call


Review by BOB FASER

TELEVISION | CALL THE MIDWIFE | ABC 1

THE fifth season of Call the Midwife confronts a range of significant social issues with the same honesty and commitment as earlier seasons.

Set in the early 1960s, issues of the day such as the relationship of thalidomide use and birth defects are strongly in ...

Return ticket


TRAINSPOTTING 2 | FILM

Review and digital illustration by Garth Jones

Cinematic history is rife, perhaps even founded on, explorations of white male solipsism.

From Citizen Kane to There Will Be Blood, from Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy to Requiem For A Dream and beyond, for well over a century our movie screens have ...

Call for unity

REVIEW BY NICK MATTISKE

BOOK | THE END OF PROTESTANTISM | PETER LEITHART

Peter Leithart’s book The End of Protestantism is not a lament for the decline of Western Christianity or a pessimistic prediction, but Leithart’s hope for the dismantling of denominationalism and the unification of the global Christian church.

It is, as he admits, a rather utopian hope. ...

Leading the way

REVIEW BY MARGARET REESON

BOOK | OUR PRINCIPLE OF SEX EQUALITY: THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN IN THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA 1927-1977 | JULIA PITMAN

FORTY years after the inauguration of Uniting Church in Australia, it feels natural in 2017 that women are moderators in four UCA synods and a woman is president-elect. But those of us who have ...

Talking about sex

REVIEW BY IAN TOZER

BOOK | TWO VIEWS ON HOMOSEXUALITY, THE BIBLE AND THE CHURCH | EDITED BY PRESTON SPRINKLE

Homosexuality commonly draws out strident views. Oppositional positions seem to be the norm; dialogue is often elusive. The editor notes this is not a ‘Christian’ versus ‘non-Christian’ debate: it is a discussion within the church.

Seeking to encourage deep engagement, ...