Arts & Culture

Good Friday essay: Passion plays and the ethics of spectacular violence

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In 1985 Filipino carpenter Ruben Enaje fell three storeys and remarkably, survived. Paul Megna The Conversation To give thanks for this good fortune, he has, for the past 30 Good Fridays, dressed up as Jesus and allowed actors portraying Roman soldiers to nail his hands and feet to a… Passion plays are dramatic renditions of Christ’s arrest, trial, lashing, and… Good Friday essay… Read More »

An atheist at Greek Easter

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The paradox. I do not believe in god, yet I can never escape him on Πάσχα, Pascha, Pesach or Easter. By Fotis Kapetopoulos Daily Review The bombing of a Coptic church in Egypt last week on Palm Sunday is one more sectarian atrocity in the Middle… However, the considered silence from much of the Left as Christians burn in the Middle East angers… An atheist at… Read More »

The Threshold Choir: Singing for people on the cusp of death

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Do you find comfort in music? The Threshold Choir sings for people on the cusp of death, hoping to alleviate some of their anxieties… Fiona Pepper ABC The concept of a Threshold Choir first began in America in 2000; a book of ‘comfort’ songs were written and local chapters… Now there are more than 130 choirs worldwide… The Threshold Choir… Read More »

Farewell John Clarke: in an absurd world, we have never needed you more

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It cannot be the final arkle! Surely the inventor of Dave Sorenson, greatest and most persistently injured of farnarklers, will rebuild himself for the next… Robert Phiddian  The Conversation Please tell me this is only the umlaut, and John Clarke will be back for the second… In our more than usually absurd world, we have never needed him… Farewell John Clarke… Read More »

The Pursuit of Happiness in Work

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Money can’t buy you happiness, but what you actually do for a living is key, according to new research which found not-for-profit workers were among the… Wendy Williams  Pb Curtin University in collaboration with mwah (Making Work Absolutely Human) has launched a new report to find the happiest and unhappiest workers in… The report, Happy Workers: How Satisfied are Australians at… The Pursuit of… Read More »

Northeast Regional

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Audio: Emma Cline… Close to five hours on the train. And then twenty minutes by taxi from the station to the… Emma Cline The New Yorker He would have time to call the lawyer, work through the… He had the number of a consultant, in case Rowan needed to apply somewhere… Maybe the school legally had to contact the college he’d got into, but Richard wasn’t… And maybe it wouldn’t come to that. The school wouldn’t want to make anything… ... Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

Old Bailey’s first non-white judge was mistaken for defendant

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The Old Bailey’s first non-white circuit judge has said she was often mistaken for a witness or defendant when she started working as a… BBC Anuja Ravindra Dhir began her career in the… She became a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in… The 49-year-old said at first, most clients did not want to be represented by a young Asian Scottish… She also said that, when she wanted to go to university in the… Old Bailey’s first… Read More »

For the First Time, Metropolitan Museum Will Display Indigenous Art in Its American Wing

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With a major promised gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its… Allison Meier Hyperallergic Yesterday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced a promised gift of 91 Native American artworks from collectors… The donation succeeds 20 objects the Dikers have given to the… For the First… Read More »

The National: three galleries and 48 artists adds up to mostly lacklustre affair

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One wonders if The National: New Australian Art is intended as a subtle riposte to the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now… “No navel gazing here in Sydney – we’re bringing you art from all over the… John McDonald The Sydney Morning Herald The NGV’s bright idea may have been predicated on Melburnian self-esteem but final attendances topped… I’ll be surprised if The National does anywhere near as well, even though it’s… The National: three… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

Let’s do a Brexit deal with the Parthenon marbles

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Britain has the perfect opportunity to return the artefacts to Greece. It’s the right thing to do – and could earn concessions in… Geoffrey Robertson The Guardian Not yet a week since the triggering of article 50, and already hope of cordial negotiations… At the weekend, amid early jostling over the post-Brexit fate of Gibraltar, former Tory leader Michael Howard implied that one way to resolve that situation could be a war with Spain. Let’s do a… Read More »

Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels Australian tour

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The outspoken critic on Monday abruptly cancelled the Australian and New Zealand leg of her upcoming tour, citing security concerns… SBS With AAP The talks were expected to begin in Brisbane on Thursday, before heading south to Sydney and then concluding in Melbourne on the… Organisers Think Inc., who were scrutinised for their decision to… Islam critic Ayaan… Read More »

Get ready for the spiritual economy

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In 2013, the book The Spiritual Imperative: Sex, Age, and Caste Move the Future by American futurist Lawrence (Larry) Taub reached the top of the Japanese bestsellers list. Jan Krikke Asia Times Taub had attracted attention in Japan since the 1970s, giving lectures and predicting global developments. Some of his… Get ready for… Read More »

One man’s quest to save the Jewish Iraqi language

Torah scrolls are exhibited at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv, in this October 19, 2006 picture. World Jewish groups began a global campaign on Sunday calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in the Middle East conflict.  REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen  (ISRAEL) - RTR1IKQX

On Friday mornings in a class on the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, Oded Amit has taught a small group of Israelis to speak Jewish Iraqi, the language of his ancestors. Jacky Hugi Al Monitor Amit, 70, was born and raised in Baghdad, and Jewish Iraqi was the language in which his mother raised him. “It’s a beautiful… One man’s quest… Read More »

China’s new-found love for Confucius

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Confucius is synonymous with Brand China, but can the Chinese government live up to the wisdom of Confucius? Salvatore Babones Al Jazeera News Ask any educated person in the world to name one great Chinese thinker, and you’ll always get the same answer: Confucius. Ask that person… China’s new-found love… Read More »