The Spectrum of our Current Concerns
Although the particular social sphere with which we are directly involved is education and scholarship at a tertiary level, we do not believe in the idea of the University as ‘an Ivory Tower.’ At the same time we are not simply concerned with ‘contemporary issues’. We see our broader responsibility as one of seeking to assist the public in their making of responsible decisions. We will try to do this at three distinct levels:
Brief insights and perspectives on what we see as some of the major problems of our time.
Articles that have the purpose of opening the issues in ways that can be grasped by most educated people.
More in depth treatments that draw upon the issues of ideology, theory and history of the matters concerned.
Climate Change and Environmental Care of the Creation.
The Threats of ‘Brave New World and 1984’: People as machiness. ‘Bionic man’ in a hyper-controlled environment. The Unbridled Submission to the Powers of Technology.
Terrorism and Organised Crime. The Rise of Islamism; State Terrorism; the Mafia and Drug Cartels.
‘The Addictive Brain’: The addictions of drugs, fast food, video games, alcohol etc. Habitual (mis)-behavioural behaviour patterns. Irresponsible actions resulting from deep-seated self-deception and lying. The broader human framework in which neuro-science, psychiatry and responsible human actions impact on the world.
Globalisation: The present dominant powers of states is threatened by the increasing power of International Commercial Companies seeking to utilise the resources of a whole range of countries – under the pretext that it is in their economic benefit to do so. As such, its growing hegemony threatens to become a network of global economic power engulfing us all.
Biculturalism in New Zealand. Since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, New Zealand increasingly became a country dominated by the British settlers in a way that called the Maori to abandon their culture, and adopt that of the British producing a unified amalgamated social order. This colonial goal was in many ways contrary to the basic spirit of the Treaty. There are other issues. The missionary exercise has accused Christianity as being itself part of the colonial exercise, with pressures upon Maori to return to their more traditional ways. The Treaty has also been accused as being a dupe by the British – involving its mistranslation form English into Maori – allowing British sovereignty to surreptitiously force Maori to abandon their lands and culture.
Links to the basic issues involved. Mention in particular Christianity and Colonialism, put out by a kindred organisation, The Tamihana Foundation. Also mention the Submission to the Waitangi Tribunal jointly submitted by the Trust and the Tamihana Foundation
The Breakdown of Family/Marriage. Issues of Sexuality. The open and explicit appetite for sex in the Western world has gone into overdrive since the decade of the 1960s. Furthermore this has been accompanied by a decline in a general appreciation of the significance of the institution of marriage. Indeed, the popularity of homosexual ‘marriage’ in several Western countries – including Ireland – can be viewed as something of an oddity against the otherwise drift away from the sanctity of marriage amongst heterosexual couples. Many of the latter don’t bother with any formal recognition of their ‘de facto’ or ‘common law’ marriage relationships. Rather they act of their belief in a looser, less binding character to relationships that last only as long as they are beset by few, if any, problems.
The Preaching of the Gospel in ways that call us to all to a form of repentance that has includes the full dimensions of our many failures to fulfil our various offices – as husbands, wives, parents, neighbours, business people, nurses, teachers, politicians, students and public servants. This was always a strong feature of Jewish spirituality, as may be indicated from a reading of the first chapter of the book of Isaiah. Furthermore, it is worthwhile recalling that when those baptised for repentance by John the Baptiser, asked him what they should do, received a reply to the effect that ‘tax collectors’ should collect no more than they were appointed’ and ‘soldiers should rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and to be content with their wages.’ Modern Christianity seems to have fully accepted the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment dictum that religion has no place in secular life. If we were to learn that the biblical preaching of the gospel does spill over into every sphere of human life, but that the power of the organised church has its own sphere of operation – one that includes a calling to preach the need for ‘salting the whole earth’ by those of its members who are not called to the euphemism of ‘full time ministry’, then something resembling ‘reformational’ Christianity might arise and indeed be salt to an earth that has got used to the sugary or acidic salt that has lost its taste.
This is a mockup. Publish to view how it will appear live.