Ross Gittins is an Australian institution: he’s been writing economics columns for Fairfax for 40 years and has had a ringside seat to 40 budgets, 16 federal elections, and the coming and going of 13 treasurers and 8 Prime Ministers. Here he speaks to Simon Smart about his memoir, Gittins: A Life among Budgets, Bulldust, and Bastardry. Among other things, they cover the seismic changes he’s seen happen in Australian politics and society, the enduring influence his Salvation Army upbringing has had on him, and what the future of journalism might - and should - look like.
Is faith reasonable or does it strain the bounds of credibility? Life and Faith explores this question in relation to Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, a documentary about Scientology, and CPX Fellow Richard Shumack’s recent sparring with atheist philosopher Peter Boghossian.
Asylum seeker policy is perpetually controversial at the political level. On the ground, though, there are all kinds of initiatives underway to help asylum seekers settle in when they do arrive. Simon Smart and Natasha Moore speak to Brad Chilcott about his organisation Welcome to Australia and how it’s grown over the last four years since it started - and hear from a few other volunteers involved in welcoming and looking after new arrivals in important and creative ways.
The Congo is one of the world’s most troubled places on earth, riven by war, conflict and poverty. But it’s also home to the HEAL Africa hospital, which doesn’t just seek to cure the sick but to bring healing to a ravaged nation.
On this episode of Life and Faith we speak to Dr Jo Lusi, who founded HEAL Africa with his wife Lyn, and Dr Justin Paluku, CEO of the organisation.
The age-old conflict between science and religion gets a lot of air-time - but is it really age-old? Or does it belong more properly to the realm of myth and legend than to history?
Professor Peter Harrison was formerly Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford, and is now Director of the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland. He’s written extensively on the topic of the true history of science and religion, and delivered CPX’s 2015 Richard Johnson lecture, entitled “The End of Faith: has science made religion obsolete?”
This episode of Life and Faith collects some of the highlights from a conversation between Professor Harrison and CPX Director John Dickson.
The 2015 Sydney Writers’ Festival ran from 18-24 May and offered over 300 events, with writers and speakers from all over the world. The theme was: How to Live?
In this Life and Faith, Justine Toh and Natasha Moore discuss some of the festival highlights - including Anne Manne on narcissism, Paul Dolan and Hugh Mackay on happiness, and American mortician and death acceptance activist Caitlin Doughty, whose book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes recounts her motley experiences working in a crematorium.
The end of faith: has science made religion redundant?
In Australia in the 1901 census, 96% of people identified as Christian and half of all adults regularly attended church. Little more than a century later, 61% of the population describe themselves as Christian, but only about 8% of people regularly attend worship services. Does this make Australia a “post-Christian” nation? And if so, what are the consequences of that shift?
Roy Williams’ talks to Life and Faith about his latest book, Post-God Nation: How religion fell off the radar in Australia - and what might be done to get it back on, and explains why religion is no longer socially significant, why losing sight of the contributions Christianity has made to Australian society matters, and what the future of faith - both public and private - might look like.
It’s been 7 years since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an historic apology to members of the Stolen Generation - but how much has changed? Rudd himself has said that the apology has achieved little. Justine Toh speaks to Brooke Prentis of the Waka Waka people - an activist for indigenous rights, Christian pastor, and accountant - about the deep injustices of the past and her hopes for the future.