Monday 12 July 2010

Awesome new site: ABC religion and ethics

The ABC's new Religion and Ethics portal was launched earlier today. Edited by our friend Scott Stephens, the site provides a platform for intellectually rigorous public discussion of theology, religion, society and ethics.

In Scott's opening blog post, he writes that the site will "bring you original opinion and analysis by the most influential scholars, theologians, religious leaders and commentators from Australia and around the world. The goal is to inform and increase our shared capacity for public discussion and debate about matters that affect us all."

Opening pieces today include Rowan Williams on refugees, Stanley Hauerwas on greed, David Novak on Judaism and torture, Mohamad Abdalla on the Qur'an and domestic violence, and a great piece by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im on Islam and human rights. Perhaps best of all is Paul Griffiths' remarkable piece on death and dying – it raises some very pointed questions about medical ethics: "Catholics need to begin to think and teach again, in public, about the ars moriendi, the art of dying. One way in which this might be done is for the church to educate its wealthy ... that it might be good for them to die sooner than they do and with less care than they have come to think their right."

This is an exciting event for religious discussion on the web. The site will have new features daily, so be sure to visit often! Regular contributors will include Rowan Williams, Tariq Ramadan, Slavoj Zizek, Stanley Hauerwas, David Novak, John Milbank, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Peter Hitchens, Amy-Jill Levine, Abdullah Saeed – and many others.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why they choose all left wingers?

Pamela said...

It's great that this new site is up and running. Enjoyed having a look around, especially liked Paul Griffith's contribution.

Anthony Paul Smith said...

These are not left-wingers! Seriously, how far right do you need to be to think that Paul Griffith's is left-wing? Hell, I'm not really sure any of them are left-wing except Zizek (despite Stephens weird reading of him).

Anonymous said...

Is David Novak a left-winger? And maybe some of the contributor Ben didn't mention here are not left-wingers?

kim fabricius said...

"Awesome"? As in "Isn't God AWESOME?" Is Ben being ironic? Is he actually telling us that this new site is crapola? I think not. "Awesome" - from one of the most graceful writers in blogdom? "Magnificent", "impressive", "formidable", even "outstanding", "terrific", or "fantastic", but fuckin' "awesome"! Still, after his awesome post on George Herbert, even Ben Myers is allowed an off-diction day. ;)

Anonymous said...

liberal media!!!11?

Unknown said...

I don't really mind what other people think, I'm looking forward to the site becoming a space where open discussion can take place from multiple perspectives. I also linked to this post about it on my blog today, because I know the people reading would want to know about it. Hope you don't mind Ben.

Jesse said...

Kudos to ABC (and Scott of course), that's a fantastic site.

Highanddry said...

I am greatly discouraged by the negativity of some of these responses in regards to the so called "leftist" agenda of this incredible contribution to religious dialogue.

It reminds me of a conversation I was having over breakfast where a friend asked me why I thought the conservative politicians in Australia are better at spin particularly given that they more often provide the other side with ample political ammunition. The only thing I could think of was that they are not better at spin but they have a larger and louder sympathetic media to add fuel and momentum to the conservative spin. So what happens is the original spin gets amplified through these newspapers and shock-jocks snow-balling the issue until it becomes the dominant discourse. The left just doesn't enjoy that same kind of saturation in the public psyche. My guess is that the same could be said of conservative theology.

As such, even if the ABC site is left leaning (which I don't think is fair given they seem to be trying to stay in toward the middle if there is such a place) suck it up sunshine! It's about time the loudest voices belonged to moderates and progressives and not just the conservatives.

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