8 May, 2023
THE 2023 COLLOQUIUM
I want to make it clear that the Colloquium will take place in Hobart, as planned, and that all papers will be videoed and posted online. We are close to finalising a location – please be patient.
We have been contacted by the Human Rights Law Alliance, a group closely associated with the Australian Christian Lobby, offering us assistance and advice. Their report is posted here. It is a great comfort to have their encouragement, to know that we have good friends who would go to the barricades for us, but in this particular matter, because of my former connection with the college, I prefer to yield.
We haven’t listed the Colloquium on sites such as Eventbrite yet because the location is yet to be determined, but you can register now. No form is required, just an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your payment of the fee – $100 per person, concessional rate $80 –
* by EFT to Dawson Centre Colloquium 2023, BSB 067-000, A/C 10252831
* or by BPoint here. If using BPoint, under Biller Code please select ‘Christopher Dawson Centre DONATION’.
The fee includes the cost of the closing dinner, so mention special dietary requirements if any in your email.
With kind wishes,
IN THE NEWS
TWO POPES WHO SUPPED WITH THE DEVIL
This fascinating article from Mercatornet‘s Michael Cook compares Pope Francis’s 2018 agreement with the communist government with China, and Pope Pius VII’s concordat with Napoleon. The similarities are startling. The conclusion is cautiously positive: ‘The Church’s humiliating compromises with tyrants may be darkened by bullying and injustice, but as long as Catholics can breathe, it may be worthwhile dealing with the devil. In the long run, the Church usually wins.’
KING CHARLES’S SPIRITUALITY
Monarchy Re-enchanted, by Francis Young, intriguingly argues the rite of Coronation is deeply respectful of Christian tradition: ‘The new processional cross contains a relic of the True Cross given to the King by the Pope; the holy oil for the King’s anointing has been consecrated in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the King has insisted that his anointing, the holiest moment of the ceremony, be entirely hidden by a specially designed screen adorned with words of the mediaeval mystic Julian of Norwich.’
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN NIGERIA
According to this article from Nigeria 52,000 Christians and 34,000 Muslims have been murdered in that country since the radical Islamic uprising began in 2009.
…BUT DON’T GIVE UP ON AFRICA
This more positive piece by a Kenyan writer, Mathew Otieno, helps put out thinking in perspective. He concludes provocatively: ‘if we were to despair for the future of any part of the world, we would do well to focus on the countries of the ageing and sclerotic First World. Unlike Africa, they may not have a future at all if they fail to reproduce themselves.’
LOOKING BACK ON THE COVID NIGHTMARE
The West’s flaccid and subservient mainstream media plumbed new depths during the pandemic, when non-compliant opinions about the disease itself or the consequences of isolation were either suppressed or labelled ‘misinformation’. This article from Scarrablogcarefully exposes much of what went wrong, lavishing special praise on The Australian‘s Adam Creighton, a brave man who has suffered for his opinions.
Australia faces a possible constitutional change later this year when we shall be asked to approve The Voice, a modification to our foundational document that will not only formally recognise the first occupiers of our continent, but establish a special body to represent their interests. The Dawson Centre takes no position on this question, but here’s a piece in favour by distinguished ethicist Prof Margaret Somerville, and another here. But an alternative view comes from aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price here.
Regardless of what position one takes, all proposed changes to the constitution deserve and demand deep consideration. Hearts can be broken, no matter what side prevails, and there are always unforeseen and unintended consequences. Tinkering with a constitution is a very serious matter. Here’s Lord Macaulay, in 1857 – three years before the election that ensured the American Civil War – writing to an American biographer of Jefferson, H S Randall. Was he prophetic or what?
‘There is nothing to stay you. Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor. As I said before, when a society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand; or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals, who ravaged the Roman Empire, came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your country by your own institutions.’
‘LET’S MAKE SANITY COOL AGAIN’
This irenic little piece by Russian-English commentator Konstantin Kisin finds common ground between decent men and women of both the Left and the Right.
PLATO AND ARISTOTLE IN CHINA
This recent article by David Schaefer reviews a new book by University of Chicago classicist Shadi Bartsch, and carefully analyses the surprising incorporation of classical philosophical ideas into contemporary Chinese political theory.
ROGER SCRUTON ON NATIONAL IDENTITY
The late Sir Roger Scruton kindly consented to join the Dawson Centre’s International Advisory Board shortly after our establishment ten years ago. This article by Adrian Wooldridge is unfortunately available to subscribers only, but it’s a good read and may tempt you…
HOBART, SATURDAY 8 JULY – ALL DAY
THE ANNUAL COLLOQUIUM
‘Wokery’ – a Wake-Up Call for the West!
On Saturday 8 July the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies will host its eighth annual colloquium – somewhere in Hobart, Tasmania!
The following have offered papers; I expect there will be one or two more:
The Incoherence of Babel
Dr Kevin Donnelly
Looking Backward Leads us Forward: the True Nature of Conservatism
Dr Gerard Gaskin
Truth in Education?
Ms Karina Hepner
Pricing Everything, but Valuing Nothing: the cost of leaving ‘The Woke’ asleep
Dr Fiona Mueller and Dr Deidre Clary
The Place of Debate in Australian Education: Fortifying a Free and Civil Society
Mr John Roskam
Creating a Culture of Freedom
Prof Ramesh Thakur
Wokism risks the descent of the West into Nihilism
HOBART WED 13 SEPTEMBER – 6.00 PM
DR RALPH MARTIN
Dr Ralph Martin is President of Renewal Ministries and Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit, USA. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome.
Topic: Living as Catholics in Challenging Times
(Location to be advised)