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Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine No 133 [ December 2015 ]

Welcome to our Advent and Christmas issue. We invite you to spend a few moments looking at our cover image and its caption, ‘The Wall of Separation, Bethlehem’. Click the image to see a larger version.

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Inside this issue

SHALL WE NOT BEAR WITNESS? by Katherine Rainger
PROTECTIVE TERRORISM: RECLAIMING OUR HUMANITY IN A DEHUMANISING WORLD by Patricia deLaney
IMMANUEL: GOD WITH US by Emily Hayes
IMAGING GOD by Rebecca Lindsay
THOMAS MERTON AND SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
by Philip Carter
WINTER ON THE BIBBULMAN TRACK by Carrie Lock
ON RETREAT AT JAMBEROO ABBEY by Christine Gilbert
ON A JOURNAL WORKSHOP by Lisa Seckold
REX A. E. HUNT’S ‘CARDS, CAROLS AND CLAUS’ Reviewed by Kay Harman
LOVE IRREPRESSIBLE A poem by Noël Davis

Editorial

As television and other media confront us with images of suffering from all parts of the world, we may experience compassion fatigue, wondering what we can do, or where God is in the midst of all this. Katherine Rainger’s ‘Shall We Not Bear Witness?’ uses cross-textual readings from biblical texts and contemporary accounts on social media of violence in Israel and Palestine to suggest that ‘lament’ and ‘bearing witness’ are an essential part of restoring humanity and compassion.

In ‘Protective Terrorism’, Patricia Delaney argues the need for a ‘new dreaming’ to counter the dehumanising effects of the current preoccupation with the threat of terrorism, so that ‘co-operation, rather than competition and intimidation’ might characterise our interactions with each other.

Emily Hayes breathes new life into the familiar nativity story as she explores resonances in her own experience of mothering. For example, she wonders if Mary found it hard to accept the kindness and generosity of strangers. Elsewhere she concludes, ‘These angels mostly do not come with wings and haloes, but are broken people who look surprisingly familiar’. Rebecca Lindsay’s ‘Imaging God’ continues the incarnation theme with feminine images of God and role models for women taken from scriptures. She delights in a God who is present in everyday tasks.

It is serendipitous that Philip Carter has provided us with an article on Thomas Merton during the 100th anniversary of his birth. A man ahead of his time, he can still challenge us to enlarge our understanding of ourselves, God and the world.With Carrie Lock and Christine Gilbert we revisit themes of pilgrimage and retreat. Although representing different spiritual traditions and different contexts – Carrie’s solitary walk through wilderness and Christine’s sojourn at the lushly-situated Jamberoo Abbey with access to books– there are common threads in intention, and a deepened understanding of what was important to them.

The last two pieces bring us back to the Christmas season. Kay Harman provides an insightful and measured review of Rex Hunt’s Cards, Carols and Claus – a book aimed at providing a ‘progressive’ reinterpretation of the Christmas event for a popular and postmodern culture. Noël Davis’ poem ‘Love Irrepressible’ does not shrink from including the tragic side of life, but it also affirms the possibility of faith, hope and love in the remotest, or direst circumstances. I am reminded of Michael Leunig’s words: ‘Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. Such poems take us to the heart of the mystery of incarnation.

Blessings of the season.
Frances MacKay

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