Informit Records: Journal

Arena (3rd series), ISSN 2652-4775, is available from Informit.

Arena Magazine is currently included in two Informit full text products: Australian Public Affairs collection: Full Text - Issue 1 (1991) onwards, and Humanities & Social Sciences collection: Full Text - Issue 100 (Apr/June 2009) onwards.

Arena Journal (peer reviewed, published by Arena Printing and Publishing Pty Ltd, ISSN: 1320-6567) is included in: Australian Public Affairs collection: Full Text - Issue 1 (1992) onwards, and Literature & Culture collection: Full Text - Issue 21 (2003) onwards.

PDF copies of all individual articles are available for purchase from Informit.

Utilitarian life: Shifting biopolitics and the life-economy nexus

The notion of a surplus humanity - or surplus life - as the theme for this special issue, and as explored in relation to contemporary capitalism, is a 'biopolitical' concept: it concerns a biopolitical separation of life into categories according to its utility in relation to capitalism. However, the concept of 'biopolitics' has no single commonly accepted field of application, let alone definition. This is both a weakness and a strength - primarily a strength,…

Where is the sacred imaginary in these secular times?

Charles Taylor is one of the world's most significant social philosophers. Nicholas Smith calls him 'the leading analytic exponent of Continental philosophy'. Taylor's book A Secular Age, developed from his Gifford Lectures, is an essential treatise for understanding our times. Taylor's approach is highly cross-disciplinary, drawing on philosophy, history, sociology and Catholic theology. Despite his vast range of philosophical influences and orientations - his analytical training, his interest in political philosophy and multi - culturalism,…

Whither religion in a world of compounding crises?

Though a significant minority across the world enjoy the gross material benefits of a prodigiously productive global economy, our planet is at the same time beset by escalating system-level crises. Deep economic inequality is intensifying both between and within national polities. Ecological degradation is calling into question the future of the earth as we know it, with disruptive climate change only the most prominent issue. Global (dis)order is stoking increased militarisation, including the possession of…

What does it mean ontologically to be religious?

What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? This simple question, the first sentence of Charles Taylor's extraordinary book 'A Secular Age', is deceptively complex - and a bad place to start. Any approach that begins with a question that presumes so much, and then continues without changing the terms of that question, is bound to reach an impasse. Even when developed with sophistication, such an approach is limited either…

The natural world and after

This essay was undertaken by one among six contributors to a shared project. Three Christians and three others had agreed that chapter 15 - 'The Imminent Frame' - of Charles Taylor's massive A Secular Age would serve as a reference point for their project: to explore how they might cooperatively envisage a way into the future.

Notes on contributors

Introduction to part II

This section is composed entirely of an essay written by Geoff Sharp. The essay was not finalised before Geoff died in 2015. It contains some unfinished sections, and has been edited by the 'Arena Journal' editors so that it is largely complete. Needless to say, if Geoff had had more time he may well have taken this contribution a further stage.

Can we live ‘in but not of’ the immanent frame?

I am a priest in the Anglican Church in Melbourne. I think of myself as an orthodox Christian who in good conscience recites the Nicene Creed each Sunday at the Eucharist. My interest as a priest includes seeking to give an account of the kind of world in which we live, not only in terms of various accounts that are in circulation but also in terms of the 'divine economy' for the whole universe from…

Can transcendence have a social meaning?

Charles Taylor's 'A Secular Age' is a sustained attempt to convey the intellectual pathways and ethical and social trajectories of the past four centuries of development in the West, including the trans - formations of ways of life, and the relation of these changes to Christianity and Christendom. It is a complex book with multiple themes that engage significant elements of Western culture over time. In this essay I will seek to assess his account…

Can we re-imagine a good society after neoliberalism?

In the conversations that led to this volume, there was a common agreement that the challenge of navigating beyond 'neoliberalism' is central to dealing with the present daunting civilisation crisis - of which disruptive climate change is the most prominent (albeit not the only) symptom. Like many on the Left, we have been perplexed by the resilience of the neoliberal regime even after the global financial crisis. We have also been intrigued by the complex…

As revelation and reason founder: A way into the future?

In the course of their consideration of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, the six contributors to this project agreed that their essays should focus in part on the implications of Taylor's work for outlining a way into the future.

Wikileaks, pedagogy and the ethical limits of research

Using publicly available material from the WikiLeaks database has thrown up a dilemma for scholars and researchers.2 In principle, this would seem a non-issue: material, despite its classified status, is made available via online search engines that serve a range of informational, pedagogical and research purposes. Such availability offers the chance of the material being reproduced, for example through links to other sites, including online learning tools such as Blackboard. But the search for knowledge…