More reflections on 2017: persistence, terror and Das Schloss

Persistence Twelve months ago I was approaching Christmas and the end of a liberating period of long service leave. It was a period of leave that rejuvenated my writing and my living. It returned a sense of adventure and courage to my cultural life. I found a way through this blog to weave together my … Continue reading More reflections on 2017: persistence, terror and Das Schloss

The return of sacred violence

"Central to both torture and terror is the political psychology of degradation"  Paul Kahn, Sacred violence: torture, terror and sovereignty Violent imitation, which makes adversaries more and more alike, is at the root of all myths and cultures. Rene Girard, Battling to the end. It is a characteristic of our time that as political authority … Continue reading The return of sacred violence

Islam and false lessons from history.

Tony Abbott has provoked outrage in some circles, and proud banner raising in others, by proposing that Islam needed to reform itself, and so undergo something akin to the complex sequences of cultural and institutional changes that led to the formation  of politically secular, if morally religious, liberal democracy. Islam, he says, making an argument … Continue reading Islam and false lessons from history.