What exactly is Oasis?

I have been trying to work out why I can not find a direct answer to the question, ‘What does a chaplain do?’ or ‘What exactly is Oasis?’

I am in complete sympathy with the questioner, genuinely wanting or needing to know. I should have an answer. But I can’t seem to nail it.

I have tried to console myself that if you ask a person to describe what a banana tastes like, they would have great difficulty explaining. But as the Oasis Coordinating Chaplain, shouldn’t I know what Oasis is? Shouldn’t I be expected to reel off a cogent answer?

My problem has come to the fore again, because we have begun to meet with the Campus Planner to work out what needs to be done with architects and builders to fit out the ‘new Oasis’ – starting only with the shell of the building we have been moved into.

At the same time, the new Director of Student Services needs answers to that question to become confidant that what the university is providing for students fits in with the university’s strategic plan, is comprehensive, and its elements are not unknowingly being duplicated by different student service agencies.  Fair enough!

And the University of Tasmania are flying me over to Hobart in April to consult with them about what we have been doing at Flinders, and what is this ‘Oasis’ thing?

As a result, I have been beating myself up of late for not having some clear answers.

But I am beginning to see what should have been obvious from the start – there are no neat answers! The defining question is incompatible with the very nature of Oasis, and also with chaplaincy. Or put another way, the nature of chaplaincy and Oasis is likely to be incompatible with the culture of a utilitarian, segmented, consumerist, institutionalised bureaucracy. Universities have become competitive, multi-million dollar businesses. Chaplaincy may easily be seen as small fry of little consequence.

Chaplaincy evolved out of the church’s need to provide religious services to those geographically displaced from their local church – those in hospitals, prisons and armed services, for example. There is no such need in today’s universities because most religious needs can be met in the local community.* The days of traditional ‘looking after our own’, sectarian chaplaincy in secular institutions are numbered. Such chaplaincy is of little consequence to a modern university,

At Flinders the changed role for university chaplaincy emerged from the internationalization of the university. Harmony on a pluralist campus requires attention to social cohesion in the face of difference. This attention to the quality of relationships, a concern quite central to religions, broadened the scope of an inclusive multifaith chaplaincy to attend to the whole campus – pastoral care to all, regardless of faith or no faith.

In an ideal world, all university staff would be pastoral carers, customizing every situation and conversation to individual students – students who come from highly diverse cultural, national, religious and academic backgrounds. In a pastorally caring university there would be little need for chaplains or for a centre like Oasis. But the pressures of the modern university have created new needs – we do what the university would normally be expected to do but is unable to do.

To take up such opportunities requires a major shift in thinking for chaplains – no longer the ‘rescuing’, ‘telling’ salvation paradigm, but the hospitable, listening, empowering and long-term-committed mentoring (‘walking beside you’) paradigm.

It means being closely connected to the life of the university but not meddling in it, filling gaps collaboratively, connecting the disconnected, doing what needs to be done without taking over, enriching, enabling, and avoiding the turf wars and ego games.

Because Oasis is adaptive, continually responsive to the expressed and unexpressed needs of the university, it might be thought of as an ever-changing, process-centred community responding contextually and existentially to presenting situations. That’s a mouthful!

So there is no neat answer! Just an evolving, fluid narrative.

I think ‘God’ is comfortable with that!

Whether universities are, remains mainly to be seen!

 

* (The exception might be Muslim Friday Prayer, because the Muslim ‘holy day’ is a Friday, a working day. And the provision of Muslim prayer rooms is a priority because of the logistics of prayer five times a day.)

 

Radical Hope

There is a story told in a book by Jonathan Lear entitled Radical Hope, a reflection on the life and destiny of Plenty Coups, the last great chief of the Crow nation of Native Americans, a people whose way of life was destroyed by white settlers supported by a white government.

As the great chief sank deeper into despair for the future of his nation, broken by the destruction of all that gave his people meaning, Plenty Coups had a dream. He took the dream to the tribal elders who accepted, processed and interpreted it.

The substance of the dream was this:

  • Our traditional way of life is coming to an end…that life is about to disappear;
  • We must do what we can to open our imaginations up to a radically different set of future possibilities;
  • I need to recognize the discontinuity that is upon me…I need to preserve some integrity across that discontinuity;
  • I do have reason to hope for a dignified passage across this abyss, because God – Ah-dabt-dadt-deah – is good;
  • We shall get the good back, though at the moment we have no more than a glimmer of what that might mean.

The great chief’s dream turned out to be a guide, an experiment to seek a new way of living in the world, a new way that avoided both the resignation of despair and the suicide of resistance to white power, the latter an option taken by other tribes.

To live out of this revelation requires that one not be filled with plans or blueprints or schedules or budgets or creeds or “six easy steps’. It can only be lived out by that which God gives.

This way of hope is the work of ministry in an age of despair.

Doing advocacy for good causes is urgent. But more urgent, in my view, is the nurture of venues of obedient imagination in which unuttered possibility is uttered, thoughts beyond our thoughts are thought, and ways beyond our ways are known (Isaiah 55:8-9). In such circumstance, walking by sight is likely a return to the old ways that have failed. Walking by faith is to seek a world other than the one from which we are being swiftly ejected (Hebrews 11:14).
Walter Bruegemman, Reality, Grief, Hope – Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks. p128

(If you would like to read the context for this post, download the PDF Hope and Despair – Brueggemann from the Resources page of this website)

Ladies and Gentlemen – an announcement!

From 2013, Oasis, is being hosted by the University – funding a Coordinating Chaplain, an Administrative Assistant and Oasis initiatives.

What is Oasis, I hear you say?

In 2012, the chaplains described Oasis in these terms:

Vision
As a unique interfaith collaborative, Oasis promotes peace and understanding among the people of diverse cultures, faiths and backgrounds who form the tapestry of campus life in Australia today.

Mission Statement
Serving students and staff of all religious denominations and traditions as well as those whose values are secular or atheist, Oasis aims to provide a welcoming, enjoyable and helpful environment in the promotion of friendship and wellbeing on campus.

The University has said ‘yes’ to the Oasis vision of harmony and well being and its initiatives of welcome and friendship.

As a Christian chaplain, I welcome this development. And as I reflect on it, I am reminded of two trees mentioned in the Christian Bible , nice bookends to the sixty six books. The very first book, “The Book of Beginnings”, mentions a “tree of life”. This is a tree in the Garden of Eden, one that gives knowledge of what is good and what is evil.

The last book of the Christian Bible, describing a vision of the new world, mentions a tree “whose leaves are for the healing of nations”. For “nations” we could read “cultural groups”. So the vision is one of protecting the integrity of cultural groups and harmony between them – for which, incidentally, one needs to understand and discern good from bad, with an inference of enacting the good.

I think Oasis embraces these two aspects of healing and understanding – twin trees at the waterhole.

Today a PhD student from SriLanka, who comes in to Oasis regularly as a break from her research, described how she was helping a new arrival overwhelmed by the new experience of being a new student, in a new university, in a new country – she is helping her find her way in a new culture, a new language (where the natives talk too quickly!), a new environment, new people, new customs, new food…

Right there – Oasis at work through her.

As chaplains of all beliefs, we promote and support that ethic.

Lenten Meditation 1

About 500 people seated at tables of eight gathered for a special breakfast at the Adelaide Convention Centre to acknowledge the Fifth Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

Kevin Rudd, the then Prime Minister who made the Apology, spoke about that day, five years ago.

As I have reflected on his telling I am impressed by three things:

1. Inspirational leadership demands a vision of a bigger world and has the courage to open its doors to allow others to enter.

Rudd sensed the time was right to make the Apology his first act as Prime Minister, not really knowing how it would be received. Reaching out his hand to the Leader of the Opposition following his speech was a complete act of faith, and inviting him to carry the Coolomon, a gift of the Stolen Generations, out of the Chamber with him, a bold gesture of reconciliation, considering the previous ten years of denial!

2. Inspirational leadership understands the significance of symbol and metaphor.

Rudd and his wife received the invited members of the Stolen Generations, who had come from all corners of the land, in the Great Hall of the People. Rudd arranged for them to enter through the entrance reserved only for special dignitaries- they would have passed right by the Office of the Prime Minister.
“S/He anoints my head with oil,” says Psalm 23, an act invariably associated with the coronation of kings, but offered by God, according to this Psalm, to all who respond to the invitation to feast at the table of Life. Rudd was lifting this people.

3. Inspirational leadership is profoundly pastoral.

Rudd based the Apology on his experience of listening to a member of the Stolen Generations. He read the politically correct brief provided to him by his staffers and promptly put it in the bin. It was completely incongruous with that experience. He took out pen and paper and wrote from the heart. It was still in process in his mind ten minutes before being due in the Chamber to deliver it. He poured every last moment into that speech.

And so, five years on, Rudd was once again lifting this people. Profoundly visionary, profoundly significant and profoundly pastoral.

Most of us left the breakfast needing space to take it all in.

The One Who Notices

On the occasion of the induction of Rev. Leanne Jenski as Coordinating Chaplain, Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders Medical Centre Chapel, 2.00pm, October 5, 2012

Reading
Mark 12: 37b -44.

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

 

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Widow’s Mite

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Last Wednesday I was at the airport to meet a colleague.

Standing at the foot of the escalators, with a couple of uniformed men patiently holding little signs, I noticed a man coming down who looked a little agitated. He hesitated as he stepped off the steps, looking around for a contact who seemed not to have turned up.

I caught his eye and smiled knowingly.

Eventually he circled around toward me.

“You’re a friendly person!” he offered.

“I’m a University chaplain, so I’m quite used to greeting strangers!” I replied.
“So what brings you to Adelaide?”

“I have business with the Adelaide City Council…So what a terrible business in Sydney last weekend with those Muslim riots…,” he ventured.

The stranger was probably in his mid 50’s. He had a metal badge with his name on it, pinned under his chin. It was a foreign name I could not easily decipher and even if I did, I could tell I would have difficulty pronouncing it! Although he spoke with a fluent Australian accent I guessed he was originally of Eastern European origin.

“Yes”, I replied, “very upsetting for the Muslim community. I went to Friday Prayer at Uni to show my solidarity with them.”

At that, his demeanor changed. He placed himself directly in front of me and the escalators, obstructing my view, and proceeded to subject me to a tirade about Muslims, the hijab and so on, which culminated in him saying “they will destroy everything we have fought for!”

His pickup person arrived and I proceeded to psychologically brush myself down from his verbal assault.

I feel compassion for him. He had invited me into his world to play his “them and us” psychological game. Such a conversation might have cemented yet another brick into the psychological wall he has been building to protect himself from the threat he feels. But I didn’t join in!

And I wondered – if we Australians, apart from our Aboriginal inhabitants, are made up of people who have come to this land often fleeing wars or persecution, how many like him are walking time-bombs of fear, injecting the anxiety of unreconciled memories into our daily social life, souring our society? I wish I had had the time to continue to listen and drain him of his venom. The chaplain in me wanted to allow him to explore his inner life, to find the chink in his wall of fear to allow me to enter as me; and for me to also create a hospitable space for him to feel safe to share his deepest fear. Because, I believe that only in that friendly space of honesty can one find liberation from living behind such a wall, which, in the end, does not provide the protection it claims. Liberation from a confinement to one of ease within himself and with others who are different, to find a capacity for empathy and compassion.

Jesus sat and watched.

His disciples must have been wondering what on earth he was up to! He seemed intent on watching these people make their temple donations. But why? Was he trying to get an idea about the extent of temple finances? Or was he attempting some kind of social research to determine relationships between ethnicity, social class and generosity?

But suddenly Jesus jumped up – “Did you see that!”

I would have thought that the spectacular would have been a huge donation by a rich benefactor! After all, aren’t most institutions cash-strapped and wondering where their next dollar is going to come from? We would probably put his name up on the wall as an example for all to see. “You too can be a great benefactor!”

But no! Just the opposite! It’s the small thing that was noticed and the huge sacrifice that was behind it.

Chaplains sit and watch. Chaplains discipline themselves in the face of a myriad of things that would otherwise demand their attention and keep them busy – as if busyness is about productivity! Busyness is the bane of chaplaincy. Rather, chaplains strive for empty space in their diaries, and far from conditioned feelings of guilt at having such luxury, utilize such space to put away anxieties that would distract, in order to be focused on watching – to position themselves to really notice; because, just as in this story of the widow’s mite, focused watching notices the smallest giveaway. That little moment, that muttered aside, may turn out be the most significant moment or word, opening the deepest exploration.

Chaplaincy is about noticing.

Seeing is not noticing.

Noticing connects the dots, like Sherlock Holmes’ forensic noticing of the smallest details and the deduction of the story of meaning that connects them.

When we notice we make a radical connection. We get inside what is happening. We get inside the story behind the dots we have linked. We empathise. We make connections of meaning to understand the other person, to imaginatively enter their inner life and invite the sharing of a vulnerable space. That shared space is sacred space. Common ground is sacred ground. That’s where the healing comes. That’s where the learning happens. That’s where lives are transformed.

For the Christian chaplain the noticing is placed alongside the story of Jesus. Connections are made between the story now and the story then. Values are discerned, but not to make moralistic judgements. The mirror of the comparative Jesus story adds other perspectives, other insights and understanding to discern meanings in the story now. For a Buddhist chaplain, the noticing is put alongside the Dhama, for the Muslim, the Qu’ran and the Hadiths, and so on for other faiths.

But unless we first sit and watch it is unlikely we will notice.

I recall attending the funeral of the wife of a member of the Mature Age Students Association at Flinders. Apart from him, I knew nobody at the funeral. Afterwards, as people we were milling around over tea and coffee, and having expressed my condolences to him, I began to feel very awkward. What should I do now? Break into conversation with seemingly closed clusters of friends and relatives? Or just leave, having expressed my sympathy? What does a chaplain do?

I decided to stand at the far side of the room where I could see everybody – where I could “sit and watch”, as it were. I prayed a blessing on each person in the room. No-one approached me, no words were spoken; and when people started to leave, I slipped out too.

Sometime much later, I happened to meet the widower on the campus. He greeted me warmly and proceeded to tell me how much my coming to the funeral meant to him. I told him how awkward I felt afterwards, but he assured me that my quiet presence at the edge of the room (which I thought he hadn’t noticed!) buoyed him with a sense of peace and assurance.

Sitting and watching, when everyone else seems occupied and busy, can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of awkwardness and uselessness, until one realises one’s purpose is not doing but being, even if praying may be an escape into doing!

Scripture is sometimes structured to provide “how not to” stories alongside “how to” stories. The story of Abraham offering hospitality to three strangers in the desert, for example, is followed by the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which provides the counter story of inhospitality.

Between the preceding story about loving God and neighbour as the highest value and the Widow’s Mite, as the finest attitude of heart, is such a passage. Its intensity escalates.

v.38 The self-important religious professionals want attention for themselves – they don’t watch, they don’t notice, because they look out only for themselves.

v.39 They want to be number one ticket holders and head for the best food and wine.

v.40a  As if this is not enough, they take advantage of the vulnerable and dispossess them for their own ends

v.40b And the final hypocrisy – they make a show of their piety. They put themselves up as the epitamy of righteousness!

More often than not, Chaplaincy sits at the back of the room taking the time to watch. It requires developing the discipline of noticing – noticing the little things that are really the big things.

Chaplaincy is not open to the religious professional whose motto might be “it’s all about me!”

The chaplain’s motto is more likely to be “It’s not about me”. It’s being like that widow.

It is noticing, entering with kindness, tenderness and compassion into the depth with the other, empowering the other to identify and name their realities – which is where God is – and to claim fullness of life while accepting those realities.

To sit and watch, to notice, to empathise, to connect, to explore, to be transformed.
It starts with putting oneself in the position to notice.

The 9/11 Story You Never Heard About – written by Sandy Boyce

This weekend, we visited St Paul’s chapel, adjacent to the 9/11 memorial site. Even though it was so close to the World Trade Centre, right across the road, it was miraculously left undamaged without so much as a broken window when the towers fell. For a grueling 8 months, 24/7, relief and rescue ministry was provided by St Paul’s. The exhibition inside the chapel was moving and inspiring, telling the story of selfless volunteers supporting workers in the rescue and subsequent clean up at ‘ground zero’. The church has turned St. Paul’s into a kind of national shrine.

The surprising thing is, there was no reference to Lyndon Harris (pictured in this early video) in the various poster walls and information in the church, the pastor who was actually responsible for the refuge operation. He has been airbrushed out of the story. But it’s worth finding out more about him. (I first heard Lyndon Harris tell his side of the story at a seminar on forgiveness – how he learnt to forgive – at the 2008 Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne – Geoff)

Rev Harris joined the staff of Trinity Church/ Saint Paul’s Chapel in April 2001 in order to develop, at Saint Paul’s Chapel, a “laboratory for urban evangelism and alternative worship.” It was hoped he would re-animate the tiny group of worshipers and establish a ministry for young people. But bigger events overtook this commission.

After the 9/11 attacks, he came to believe the chapel had escaped destruction for one sole purpose: “It is the chapel of the people. St. Paul’s is the refuge for the people in the pit (ground zero).” He spontaneously opened the chapel to the firefighters, police officers and sniffer dogs, soldiers and steel workers, for all the tens of thousands who came to work and seek survivors. When the President called for a nationwide bell ringing, St Paul’s bell tower was opened. The bell was hit with a found iron pipe. Twelve times the bell was struck, and all around swirled the white dust of the dead from the 2 towers. For a brief few moments, the roar of heavy machinery subsided around Ground Zero, then complete silence, with some workers kneeling in the ashes.

Rev Harris organized food and drink, free for everyone at Ground Zero, around the clock. Over a million meals were served in 8 months. Health inspectors tried to intervene, but the police pushed them away. The steel workers welded huge grills and Harris cooked food for the people. When power was finally restored, the food was prepared in the sacristy. As time went on, New York’s top restaurants and hotel kitchens chefs prepared food for 3,000 a day. Members of the community organized several thousand volunteers who flocked to St. Paul’s: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, Sikhs, Hindus. Boxes full of donations began to arrive – clothes, socks, soap, chocolate, underwear, pillows, blankets. Food arrived for the search dogs, and also overshoes on their paws. The church was full of workers sleeping in emergency beds and on benches; massages were offered for anyone who strained their back after hours of searching in the bone ash. The chapel became the triage and emergency room for the burned feet of the 9/11 rescuers. And music – jazz, Mozart, Bach. Every day someone played – ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Danny Boy’. Letters of support from children everywhere. St Paul’s became ‘heaven’s outpost’ (as described by a firefighter).

Remarkably, donations for the relief efforts kept coming in, which meant there was no financial burden on the church’s relief efforts.

So far, so good? But that’s not how the story continues…..

The Rector, who had been away for a family reunion, returned to find the chapel taken over by all this activity. He demanded that someone be held accountable for the perceived ‘utter mess’ of the chapel. He invited influential friends in the powerful law firms to witness what had happened. As expected, the lawyers were horrified by what they saw in this historic church: the filthy, the exhausted, the weary and wounded seeking refuge in the safety of St. Paul’s. “Who are all these strange people?” the Rector demanded to know. ”When will St. Paul’s once again be a church?

To which Harris replied, ” We were never more one church!”.

Pettiness got the better of the church authorities. The rescue workers and their families were refused a Thanksgiving meal. Harris was told the church’s liability insurance did not cover his activities at Ground Zero. A ‘protective custody order’ effectively closed the chapel, so it could again become a ‘beautiful chapel’. And most ironically, it was announced the chapel would close on Easter 2002. Just when the stone is rolled back from the grave, the chapel was to be closed!

Lyndon Harris was fired in October 2002, officially in order to ‘continue his theological studies without pay’. When his health failed (lung disease from constant exposure to the dust), the church left Harris and his family without even health insurance. Harris’ marriage broke down, he lost his house to foreclosure, he was declared homeless, and he had no further offers for ministry placements*.

This story is sobering for many reasons, and I haven’t even outlined the hyprocrisy and pettiness of those in authority, and their own grab for fame and fortune.

But it certainly made me reflect on the tension between keeping the church pristine and ‘holy’ as good stewards of the legacy we have inherited from our forebears – and the need for the church to be responsive in any way it can be to the mission of God in the world. It invites me to consider how we as a church reflect on using our property as a place of welcome and hospitality, reflecting God’s grace and offering God’s generosity to all. May we remember afresh Isaiah’s words, that we are called to share in preaching good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted…. to comfort all who mourn, and ….to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

May it be so.

This article includes information from HARTMUT M. HANAUSKE-ABEL, 60, a member of the parish of St. Paul in Manhattan since 1999. http://louisville-wedding-photography.net/

* Out of the ashes of Lyndon Harris’ despair, forgiveness began to bloom. He spent two years as a consultant to The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (Episcopal) in New York City.

As his health returned, he travelled to Beirut, Lebanon, to visit Alexandra Asseily. She had begun a movement to plant a Garden of Forgiveness in her beloved Lebanon after its civil war, which claimed more than 300,000 lives. The greatest gift to one’s children, Ms. Asseily teaches, is to become a better ancestor. And that, she says, is done through forgiveness.

When he returned from Beirut, Harris joined with Dr. Fred Luskin of the Stanford Forgiveness Project to found their own non-profit group: The Gardens of Forgiveness project. They want to fulfil Asseily’s vision by planting gardens around the world. What better way to express life-affirming qualities of forgiveness than by cultivating living beauty in the earth?

Harris and Dr. Luskin also developed a forgiveness curriculum for middle-school students. Two New York City schools began teaching it four years ago, and more schools will soon come on board. The Gardens of Forgiveness project has planted gardens throughout New York State and in Chicago. The project also has partners in Durban and Soweto, South Africa; Uganda; and Liberia that are exploring planting Gardens of Forgiveness. Harris also dreams of a garden at ground zero in New York City one day, and one at Gettysburg, Pa., to help heal wounds that linger from the Civil War.

St. John’s Lutheran Church in New York’s West Village has asked him to become its full-time pastor. “They loved me back to church,” Harris says. As part of an agreement between New York’s Episcopal and Lutheran bishops, clergy between the two denominations may now serve in each other’s parishes.

Most recently, Harris travelled to Rwanda, where he hopes to plant an extensive Garden of Forgiveness in memory of the almost 1 million Tutsis who died in the 1994 genocide there. As Harris’s fellow activist, Rwandan musician Jean Paul Samputu, says: “Forgiveness is the most powerful unpopular weapon against violence that exists.”

Adds landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, who went with Harris to Rwanda: “Having learned about forgiveness himself, Lyndon goes into the world to make that emotional experience palpable to others. He sees that by creating a garden you can stroll through and experience with all your senses, you can make a path that leads toward forgiveness, toward transformation and a state of grace.”

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

http://chronicle.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/132123/?sid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en#top

I think we all like a good conspiracy theory.
But I have to say that I keep wondering whether the world I experience day by day ‘on the surface’ is not some kind of dream – a world away from harsh realities that are just under my nose, but remain hidden by the presenting gloss I encounter.

The sermon at Grace Cathedral on Sunday was based on a reading from the Book of Samuel. The people demand a king for themselves. They want to be like all the other surrounding nations.

(As an aside, on our travels I am amazed to discover that so much of what I thought was innovative back home has been copied across international boundaries. And vice-versa! So that’s why our pollies go on these overseas trips!)

In the history of the Jews, until this time, they depended on the prophet for wisdom and direction. Samuel seeks God’s direction and surprisingly, God responds, ‘Give them what they want, but warn them first’. Samuel paints a bleak picture of the consequences to the elders. But their minds are made up.

Does this sound familiar?

The exhortation of the preacher is to live examined lives. ‘Why do we want what we want? And what are the consequences?’

The article from The Chronicle Review is timely. It points to a world behind my world. It affirms the work of honest scholarship. It helps me appreciate my refugee neighbour. It prompts me to be more critical of political grand designs and what may lie behind them. And it challenges me to self-examination and a life of compassion with a view to the just world Jesus pointed to.

Please read the article and reflect on the possibility of Australia’s complicity.