Lent is a time of penance, a time where self-aggrandisement has no place and where repentance should take centre stage. Because of that, I will not engage in any form of self promotion during this holy season. Instead, I will shamelessly promote myself before it all starts, and humbly suggest for your lenten reading Redeeming Flesh: the Way of the Cross with Zombie Jesus. Readers would probably be aware that I gave a Holy Week retreat to the seminarians of the Holy Spirit… Read more

The old cliche goes that the other most terrible thing in the world is getting what you desire. Many of us know the experience that Aristotle (via Martha Nussbaum’s reading of his Poetics) called the tragedy of “impeded action” (on this see Nussbaum’s 1992 essay “Tragedy and Self-sufficiency”). More specifically, we know that dreadful feeling of our desire slamming into the wall of limitations created by circumstances beyond our control. We feel that our worlds, or rather the delicate possible worlds… Read more

Happy New Year, everyone! I have only just returned from holidays and received notification from the webstation Cradio that a new podcast of my interview  on with the Sydney-based Culture Project Australia is now up. Late last year, I was invited to speak with Culture Project Australia’s”Culture Catchups” on season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Though initially intended to focus on the problem of evil, the discussion quickly shifted to a number of other topic areas, including psychoanalysis and the nature… Read more

Crises are useful gimmicks, whether it is economic meltdowns, climate change, immigration, cabinet reshuffles, sex scandals or wars. Political entrepreneurs will often make use of them or create them to try and force a surrender by the general populace of their right to communal discussion, reflection and critique. The degree to which many Christians seem willing to play along with the games of the political classes is concerning. Whatever the event, many Christians would treat such crises as times that… Read more

Nota Bene: Before reading on, please click here to read “Part I: the Metaphysics of Porn” This attitude of preferring the simulation of potentiality over the tactile heft of actuality has seeped into the world of things, and also the world of persons, where bodies are now caught up in the process of the abstracting power of the possible. In The Coming of the Body, the French essayist and consultant Herve Juvin spoke of the production of the endless variety of options that… Read more

Pornography is everywhere. By this, I do not simply mean that we are awash with images of sexualisation of men, women, and now even children, although there is ample evidence of this too. By this I mean that, even when such images are not pressing up against our retinas, we still find ourselves steeped in the logic of pornography, moving in what the Germans call the “lifeworld” that fuels the consumption of pornography. Simon Smith, in a September 2017 article, spoke… Read more

Common Grace, an organisation that describes itself as a “movement of Christians passionate about Jesus and justice”, have kindly invited me to be part of their upcoming series of videos organised round the Beatitudes as laid out in the Gospel of Matthew. In this context, I have been invited to speak on the Beatitude that in jokes are mostly associated to my place in the universe…the geek. Though the biblical text reads: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the… Read more

There was a moment, many years ago, where I made a turn into a Melbourne arcade cafe. It was one of those arcades reminiscent of 1950s, but done up at the edges to update the more worn and tired aspects of the walls. The floors kept the colourful pieces of granite laid down at the building’s erection, while the walls retained some features of the art-deco, but covered up by the seemingly respectable trinkets of an office cafe. As I… Read more

We talk a lot about how bad sin is, and it is bad. As Augustine reminds us, sin is nothing short of a reduction of our personhood. What is often experienced, but not often talked about, is how ordinary and repetitive sin can be. How often do we find ourselves stuck in a grinding routine, any routine, and find ourselves feeling demeaned, less than what we were meant to be, a less than human cog in a machine of mere… Read more

  In living out the Christian life, there will certainly come a time when giving an apologia or explanation of the faith will become necessary, when either questions are asked or challenges posed to its central tenets. When these times come, Christians can be understandably enthusiastic about providing the best possible case for the faith. Sometimes, the same apologetic impulse can drive theological discussions within the Church. What is becoming increasingly apparent, however, is that in the drive to protect… Read more

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