Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology
Photo has been edited - PACT buildings and Canberra surrounds

Welcome to PaCT

Our mission

The Centre for Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) is focused on public and contextually informed theological research and engagement with issues of national and global significance. PaCT has a history of collaborative research by scholars of many religious traditions and a commitment to future inclusion and expansion.

Parliament House Canberra

A founding member of the Global Network for Public Theology, PaCT is committed to becoming the lead centre in the Asia-Pacific region for research at the interface of theology and public issues. The rich intellectual traditions of diverse faiths, along with their abiding focus on questions of human value, are interwoven in our Research Streams with discourses on ethnicity, politics, gender, economics, ecology, and much more.

Situated in the national capital, PACT aims to contribute to the public good, in Australia and beyond, through research, scholarly publications and public engagement.

Strategic research areas  2017 to 2021

PaCT scholars are involved in a variety of research fields. Among them, three key areas of research activity have been identified for 2017-2021.

Christian-Muslim Relations in Australia

Given Australia's changing religious demographics, the close interaction between people of different faiths in the major cities and now also in regional Australia, and the significant attention paid to religious radicalisation by government, police and the media, this area of research is highly relevant.

PaCT's close relationship with the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC) means that CSU is one of the few universities in Australia able to draw Christian and Muslim theologians together under the auspices of one Centre to produce collaborative research output.

Areas of research activity include:

  • the history of relations between Christians and Muslims
  • religious instruction in schools
  • Islamophobia
  • religious radicalisation and refugee policy.

Religious Social Service Agencies

The social service agencies of religious institutions receive substantial government funding. These agencies are already a large sector of the social service economy in Australia and are expanding with the implementation of the NDIS. They represent the most significant public connection between religion and government in Australian society.

Research is tailored toward assessing the impact of public expenditure in the social service economy via religious institutions and toward the interests of churches and religious agencies by assessing the theory and practice of their social service activities.


Religion, Ethics and the Anthropocene

Effective action on climate change calls for religious as well as political leadership. A reconsideration of how economists, ethicists and particularly the religions have conceived of humanity's relationship to the planet is critical.

PaCT has developed the Religion, Ethics and the Anthropocene project, drawing together:

  • theologians
  • ethicists
  • scientists
  • and public policy experts.

The principal participants are committed to a thorough reconsideration of the legacy of their respective disciplines and traditions, and to fresh theology, philosophy and ethics to help us understand what it means to be human in the potentially devastating Anthropocene Epoch.

Latest News

Character Formation, Moral Education and Values in Western Pluralistic Societies

05 Dec 2018

Character Formation, Moral Education and Values in Western Pluralistic Societies

Executive Director of PaCT the Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard recently attended two roundtable discussions in Heidelberg, Germany as part of a research project on Character Formation, Moral Education and Values in Western Pluralistic Societies.The four-year international research project is jointly hosted by The Research Centre for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT) at the University of Heidelberg under...

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Mehmet Ozalp receives Lifetime Achievement Award

26 Nov 2018

Mehmet Ozalp receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Mehmet Ozalp who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Muslim Achievemnt Awards (AMAA).The award was given to Dr Ozalp on the 18 November at the Grand Royale in Granville. In giving him this award, the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards said:'Mehmet has been active within the Australian Muslim community for over 27 years. He...

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Sacred Soldiers: Remembering World War I

26 Nov 2018

Sacred Soldiers: Remembering World War I

PaCT Fellow Dr Michael Gladwin recently spoke on the ABC’s God Forbid program. Producer Rohan Salmond interviewed Dr Gladwin about Anzac Day’s origins for the ‘Sacred Soldiers: Remembering World War I’ episode. Dr Gladwin said the origins of Anzac are Christian but it’s also a civil religion that is growing.“I think it can be argued that this is...

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Arts and Theology

26 Nov 2018

Arts and Theology

PaCT Fellow Rev Dr Rod Pattenden has recently completed a six month art installation series at Adamstown NSW which explores the interactions that occur in placing contemporary art into a worship space. This innovative project created a lively conversation between artists, the art networks of Newcastle region and the words and actions of a liturgical community. A 36 page full...

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New book from PaCT Fellow on Narrative Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark

12 Nov 2018

New book from PaCT Fellow on Narrative Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark

There is a new book title from PaCT Fellow and School of Theology Lecturer (CSU) Dr Jeffrey W. Aernie called Narrative Discipleship: Portraits of Women in the Gospel of Mark.The New Testament scholar’s book examines the thematic and theological impact of women in the Gospel of Mark. Using narrative analysis, Aernie explores how Mark intentionally crafts the narratives...

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