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'As Christians in Australia prepare for the Great Jubilee in 2000 it is important that both our preparation and celebration of this great historical turning point be firmly rooted in sound theological and biblical scholarship.'

'I believe that this book can help us to do that.'

- Father Brian Gore ssc

'We are reminded that the Spirit of God is stirring the human spirit world-wide to accept new attitudes towards justice for all creation,' Jubilee Spirit for a Global Family will help to enliven the minds and hearts of its readers.'

- Bishop Kevin Manning, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

Launched by Fr Brian Gore today in Wollongong, Jubilee Spirit for a Global Family is a short, popular presentation of the scriptural teachings on Jubilee and some of their implications for us in Australia today. Co-published by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and the Columban Mission Society, it addresses indigenous land rights, the problems of rural Australian communities and the unpayable international debt of poor countries. Jubilee Spirit for a Global Family can be ordered from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council for only $8 a copy plus postage.

Land rights
In Jubilee Spirit for a Global Family Chris Baker explores the implications for indigenous Australians of the Jubilee theme of the return of families to their homes and of land to its original owners:

'The Jubilee 'release' and restoration of all the family to their ancestral home resonates with the experience of our indigenous people. The grandparents were uprooted from their land, on which they had lived frugally from its bounty; the parents in many cases were forcibly separated from theft children; the culturally dispossessed and disoriented youth still tend to finish up in detention and hence later in adult prisons for 're-offending'. After two centuries of death, disease, and attempts to quietly end their culture by assimilating survivors into the white majority way of life, recent legal and parliamentary decisions have begun their Jubilee-style liberation.'

Rural communities
The child of a farming family, Chris Baker provides an insightful chapter on problems in rural Australian communities. He sees no conflict between concern for indigenous land rights and concern for rural communities:

'Because farming conditions are so harsh and variable, many a small farmer has been ruined financially and forced off the land. These are the kinds of farming situations that provide a modern parallel to biblical socio-economic conditions which made a Jubilee program necessary.'

International debt
Chris Baker addresses the question of international debt in detail. He concludes:

'The Spirit inspiring the Great Jubilee suggests that we work for a radical change, not only in the way international loans are to be arranged and repaid, but also in the way transnational companies are allowed to 'play the free market' to make a killing for themselves at the cost of devastating millions of others through starvation and sickness.'

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