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The earliest sources, including Paul’s letters, show very little interest in the mythological details of heavenly existence. Wikimedia Commons/ Probably Valentin de Boulogne: Saint Paul Writing His Epistles.

Paul’s Apocalypse gave us heaven and hell several times over

Interpretations of Paul the apostle's texts provided the basic fund of imagery that continues to inform popular opinion about what Christians mean when they talk about "heaven", or "hell".
Large numbers of people who do not normally attend church still go there to celebrate Christmas. ManImMac

The church has left Christmas Day to the heathen … maybe

In my home city of Melbourne, an extraordinary cultural and religious drama is played out on Christmas Eve each year at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets. Thousands of people mill around…

Remembering with hope

Today a state memorial service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne to remember those who died in the MH17 catastrophe and those who grieve for them. The purpose of the service was to provide a…
Pope Francis argues that the poor are at the heart of the Gospel and it’s the communists who have ‘stolen the flag’. EPA/Nicola Lanese

Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?

A blog in The Economist recently accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and…

Asylum seekers: praying for change

Yesterday around 20 Christian activists staged sit-ins in Sydney at the office of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and in Melbourne at that of Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten. The protesters included…
Bastl F. Flickr

Parliament needs more ritual, not fewer prayers

In January, Greens Senator Richard di Natale sparked another round of the never-ending debate as to whether or not the Australian Parliament should open with prayer. Under standing orders, each sitting…

When should we hang Christmas decorations?

Today, December 6, is celebrated by the Christian churches as the feast day of St Nicholas. The saint is one of the historic figures on whom Santa Claus is based and so today is the closest the world gets…
Bruce Springsteen during his Working on a Dream tour in Munich, 2009. Lord_Henry

Theology according to Springsteen?

Rutgers University recently announced it will offer a first-year seminar on the theology of Bruce Springsteen. The seminar, led by Azzan Yadin-Israel, will cover songs spanning Springsteen’s 40-year career…

Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of memory

This week Australia and many other nations celebrate a major civic ritual, Remembrance Day, which commemorates all who have died in war. It was originally known as Armistice Day, for it marked the end…
An unprecedented 22% of Australians have declared themselves to be of “no religion”. Jetuma

Don’t stop believing: religion has a place in Australia’s future

Recently the Prime Minister called upon the Labor Party to “repent” of its introduction of the carbon tax. His comments were ridiculed by some critics, not for the substance of what he said, but for the…
Pope Benedict XVI, who recently announced that he will resign from the papacy this month. AAP/Claudio Peri

Pope’s resignation is a recognition of human frailty in an ageing world

Pope Benedict XVI announced his historic decision to step aside as Pope yesterday. This is the first time in 600 years a Pope has resigned. And in 1415 when Gregory XII resigned, he did so not to retire…
These bones have prompted a discussion about how the English view the monarchy. AAP/University of Leicester

A burial fit for a king: from car park to cathedral for Richard III

The story is almost unbelievable: a king buried for five centuries under what is now a car park, identified through mtDNA analysis with the last surviving matrilineal descendants of his sister. But it…

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