Role Playing and Religion

Role Playing at the Melbourne Unitarian Church

In recent months a group of individuals have been meeting at the Melbourne Unitarian Church on Sunday afternoons. To the casual observer their actions may initially seem a little strange. Apparently the participants are engaged in some sort of game that involves strange-looking dice. Spend a little more time and they seem to be engaged in an improvised radio drama, describing the actions of characters that they adopt to a setting and circumstances. These actions do not seem occur automatically however, as they often refer to thick and numerous rule books which provide a simulation model for the proposed activities.

Human Rights Consultation Commission

July 31st, 2005

To; Professor George Williams
Rhonda Galbally
Andrew Gaze
Haddon Storey QC

Dear Committee Members,

Please find (follows) the submission of the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church to the Human Rights Consultation Committee.

The Church would like to express in the first instance, its deep disappointment that such an important issue has not received the time for the widespread community discussion that such an important issue entails.

The Unitarian Jihad: An Internet Phenomenon

The title "Unitarian Jihad" sounds like a contradiction in terms. After all, for most people who come from a Judeo-Christian or a secular-democratic background, the word "jihad" conjures forth images of mad Arabs, full of religious fervour, waving scimitars, throwing bombs or otherwise engaging in some other form of violent fanaticism.

Providence and Common Wealth

Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, January 23, 2005

Metaphysics and Political Economy

Service to an address by Sister Brigid Arthur, Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, November 21, 2004

Opening Words

(derived from Mat 25:41-45) '...for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'


The Future of the Human Species: Genetic Engineering, Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence and Animal Uplifting


This presentation is concerned technological self-transformation of the species and the influence of cultural mores and social systems on this possibility. What is included can be categorized into four broad technological groups; genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, prosthetics and animal uplifting – more on that last word later. These are areas of life with have seen extraordinary changes over the last fifty years and in all probability the next fifty will witness even greater changes.

A Man of Great Spirit: The Life and Politics of Dr. Jim Cairns

While many of you gathered here today would already be quite familiar with a brief biography of the late Dr. Jim Cairns who died last October, it is important for those who are not to engage in a minimal description - a difficult task, as will soon be evident - before moving on to a discussion of his beliefs which are strongly differentiated into two parts, his political theory and parliamentary career and in later years, his psychological theory and cultural activism.

East Timor: Moral Obligations and Systematic Betrayal

Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, November 17, 2003


Accounts of Subjectivity: Hollway and Habermas


The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the adequacy of Hollway's account of subjectivity that links the unconscious with discourse through comparison with Habermas' account. Hollway claims that: '[S]ubjectivity can be theorized as a special case of signification . . . whereby the metonymic axis encapsulates the normative products of discourse/language and the metaphoric axis encapsulates the specific history of desire as it successively invades significations and invests them with the interests of the ego.' (1989: 84) This definition is from 'Subjectivtity and Method in Psychology' where Hollway draws upon Lacan and Klein to develop a feminist critique of psychology and gender. The focus of this essay however, is to assess of her definition of subjectivity.

The Unitarian Rationalist Tradition: What We Can and Cannot Know


It is obviously not possible in this single presentation to provide anything more than the most introductory overview to the topic of the use of reason by Unitarian thinkers. Nonetheless in doing so, some groundwork will be provided to introduce the notion of 'formal pragmatics' - an advanced analytic method for determining what constitutes a rational or irrational word or deed. Finally, and working on the presumption that people will be a little mentally exhausted of theory by this point, some suggestions can be made for the practical orientation of Unitarians that is appropriate to the tradition and to a Church institution.


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