sharpe-oneschatology-2013.pdf (324.61 kB)
On eschatology and the 'return to religion'
journal contributionposted on 2013-07-01, 00:00 authored by Matthew Sharpe
We begin with Tony Blair's July 2009 Australian visit. Mr Blair converted publicly to Catholicism in 2008. In Australia that year, he argued that the West was facing an internal crisis of confidence, as well as external threats. Blair warned in particular against what he called 'aggressive secularism' and the Western tendency to 'see people of religious faith as people to be pushed to one side'. The Australian's 'editor at large', Paul Kelly, responded enthusiastically. Blair's position represented 'the best argument against the rise of secular intolerance and its distorting of history in the education system by seeking to downgrade or eliminate religion in the West's story'. This stood in contrast to the Australian Labour Party's disastrous' distancing from the Christian tradition. Kelly styled Blair as opposing 'the fashionable Western idea that religion can be suppressed or confined to the private realm' as 'a delusion and dangerous'. The Australian's position is not surprising, given the news paper's long- standing, US-influenced neoconservative position.