Monthly Archives: November 2008

“Living on Aboriginal Land” workshop – background links

I am giving a workshop in Melbourne, along with Baganan, for the Urban Seed community, entitled “Living on Aboriginal Land”

“Living on Aboriginal Land”
A workshop with Baganan Kurityityin Theresa Creed and John Tracey

This workshop challenges non-Aboriginal participants to explore the relevance of concepts such as land rights, native title, sovereignty, reconciliation, treaty, self-determination, Aboriginal deaths in custody, customary law, traditional owner etc. to their own life on this country.
It explores ways in which non-Aboriginal people can support Aboriginal Australia.
The workshop offers no easy answers, only difficult questions.

6pm, Tuesday November 25th
@ “The Den” 116 Little Bourke St. Melbourne
(between Russell St. And Exhibition St. on the north side of the street)

more details – HERE

The following is a list of links to things that I will be referring to in my talk, so that participants can explore the issues further.
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Saint Francis – The Patron Saint of Birdbaths?

The following is a sermon preached by Brother William of the Anglican Society of St. Francis. Brother William is a remarkable old man who I have had the privilege of crossing paths with on several occaisions over the last few decades.

(He did not call his sermon “The Patron Saint of Birdbaths”)

reproduced from Faith Futures

See also Brother William’s blog The Divine Universe

A sermon preached at St Francis’ Theological College, Brisbane for the Festival of St Francis, 2007.

I was delighted to receive the invitation to speak at today’s College celebration. Not only is St Francis the patron of the college where I have studied and, later on, taught but also the patron of the religious community I belong to.

St Francis is the most popular saint in Protestant Christendom. Even agnostics and atheists have a soft spot for him. And, of course, pet-lovers adore him, seeing him as a kind of patron saint of birdbaths.

No man among the saints of Christendom has had more written about him; none enjoyed so wide a popularity as Francis of Assisi. I do not have in mind the pop-art image of a handsome, tall young Anglo-Saxon with a funny haircut, wearing a cute brown costume and surrounded by tame animals. The real Francis is far more enigmatic and more challenging than that. The fact that so much has been written about him (a new book appears almost every year) is not because he is easy to write about, but rather because the enigma is so fascinating, the impact of his life so powerful.
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Cultural/Linguistic Diversity and Deep Social Ecology (Genesis 11:1-9)

by Ched Myers

Another interesting essay, one I referred to in my own essay “Babylon and the Christian Church in Australia”

reproduced from A Globe of Witnesses

see also Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

“It is interesting that the symbol of the fall in Genesis 3 is the human being’s expulsion from the Garden, his alienation from the earth, and his condemnation to a life of toil as an agriculturalist. This was indeed the story of the late Neolithic. Moreover, the first act outside the Garden is fratricide, in which the pastoralist Abel, symbolizing the remnants of the older, not-yet-fully-domesticated lifeways of the nomad forager, is murdered by the farmer Cain. This metaphorical vignette represents the opening battle of subsequent history’s longest war between aggressive, expansionist agriculturally based societies and their insatiable appetite for land on one hand, and ever-retreating traditional foragers on the other.”
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Colonised Land; Colonised Mind (A Scottish perspective)

by Alastair McIntosh

I found this essay on the Rainforest Information Centre Website via the Henry George Institute

website of Alastair McIntosh

“It worries me when I hear of people of Scots descent putting obstacles in the way of native land rights claims in countries like Australia or the States. They should study their own history, mostly untaught in schools, and come to see that this is unbecoming behaviour. It is a betrayal not just of native land rights of the first nation peoples with who they now live, but also of our own people.”
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As I see it…….

This is another rant I put on the Jesus Radicals forum

John 3:3 “In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

This is how I see it…….

To be born again means to peel off all assumptions and prior experience. Enlightenment is not a matter of learning something new or learning a technique but is a matter of stripping away, unlearning all that we know. Continue reading

Pacifism and Liberation Theology

Christian pacifism has become the betrayal and neutralisation of the liberation theology movement of the 1970s and 80s that had previously created real and meaningful connections between the global struggles of the poor with Christians in the affluent world.
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The Virgin Birth and Childhood Mysteries of Jesus

Another interesting essay I found here

By James Still

excerpt – “In the Hellenic empire carved out by Alexander the Great during the third century BCE, these eastern beliefs and myths mingled with those of the Greeks, Egyptians, and Semitic peoples. Alexander was anxious to connect the Mediterranean world with the strange ways and customs of the Orient and sought to connect his two empires culturally as well as politically. The Greeks had already devised well-developed concepts of divine impregnation. The savior-god Dionysus was said to have been born after Zeus visited Persephone in the form of a serpent. The Persian contribution to these Hellenic myths was to bring the fascinating idea of the virgin (parthenioi) birth to the old Dionysus and Herakles stories. Eventually the pagan mysteries had fully incorporated the virgin-birth ceremonies of the Ishtar priestesses into their own beliefs and religions as each savior- god took on the divine attribute themselves.”
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