This was the farewell address given by Andrew Bradstock before returning to Britain.  Andrew has been the first professor of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues in Dunedin.  It has proven to be a successful appointment which has placed the Centre directly in the public domain.  He was applauded twice before he spoke and then twice after he finished.

The title comes from the prophetic writings.  Interestingly enough the admonition is to the believers living in the exile.

Some thoughts:

Where is New Zealand’s public square?  What voices does the public square engage?  The whole point of deliberative democracy is that is it based on the idea of deliberation. Let New Zealanders decide who these voices are.  New religions are going to step in and be heard in New Zealand. Do we welcome them as citizens or do we label them as the Other and the Outsider.  Can we grow an enlarged and diverse public sphere?

Religion is an option against an ideology of self-interest.  Our theology is based on god living as the incarnation, giving value to human and natural life.  All people are created in the image of god.

The market cannot make a moral judgment on sex trade or the trade in body-parts.  They are just another commodity.  I admit I am suspicious of anyone who uses the phrase ‘the sanctity of life’, what does that mean in a society with no definition of sanctity.  However what is the value of a human life?  Why do members of society say at a certain point embryonic human potential has value and after that point, until its natural death, it may not be killed?  What is the value of life beyond sanctity?

The story of Eden speaks profoundly to us. [Edit: I have separated this line from the previous paragraph as it not related to it as a conclusion to it and refers to another quote made by Andrew Bradstock.]

Each speaker has a right to speak.  It is up to each one of us not to dominate the narrative or stand on privilege.

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