Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology

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.

Government funded 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 Climate Change

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 Planetary Futures Project, drawing together:

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

The principal participants are committed to a thorough review of the legacy of their respective disciplines and traditions. It is hoped that the Planetary Futures Project will contribute academic and moral weight to public debate.

Latest News

Reverend Professor Emeritus James Haire AC presented with Festschrift

19 Dec 2016

Reverend Professor Emeritus James Haire AC presented with Festschrift

On 23 November 2016 the Reverend Professor Emeritus James Haire AC, former Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) and former Director of the Research Centre for Public and Contextual Theology (PACT), was presented with his second Festschrift (volume of essays in his honour) at a ceremony in Indonesia to mark his 70th birthday. The volume of over 630 pages contains 30 chapters by a group.

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Professor Wayne Hudson interviewed about Australian Religious Thought

15 Dec 2016

Professor Wayne Hudson interviewed about Australian Religious Thought

CSU's PACT and Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture Research Scholar Professor Wayne Hudson was recently interviewed by ABC's Dr Rachael Kohn about his book Australian Religious Thought.The hour-long interview recorded on December 4, 2016 can be listened online or downloaded.Australian Religious Thought is published by Monash University Publishing and can be purchased for $39.95..

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Centre For Public and Contextual Theology (PACT) wins 5 year re accreditation from 2017

15 Dec 2016

Centre For Public and Contextual Theology (PACT) wins 5 year re accreditation from 2017

PACT is delighted to announce its reaccreditation as a Charles Sturt University Research Centre for 5 years, from 2017 to 2021. The result follows 12 months of intensive review by an expert panel.As part of that process, PACT was required to submit a 5 year strategic research plan, and conduct a thorough review of membership and governance.The end result was gratifying. The review panel noted in its report, "New and.

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PACT members present papers at Global Network for Public Theology in South Africa

15 Dec 2016

PACT members present papers at Global Network for Public Theology in South Africa

Ten PACT members recently travelled to South Africa to attend the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT) triennial conference at Stellenbosch University.Caption: Peter Walker, Clive Pearson, Seforosa Carroll, Katherine Rainger, Brooke Prentis, Geoff Broughton, Mehmet Olzap, Ryan Green, Salih Yucel and Stephen Pickard.The triennial GNPT Conference held in October was themed 'Democracy and Social Justice in Glocal Contexts' and was attended by about 60 people, including former Archbishop of Canterbury,.

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PACT announces strategy research for 2017-2021

15 Dec 2016

PACT announces strategy research for 2017-2021

Three areas will be central to PACT research activity from 2017-2021. The PACT Strategic Research Committee will particularly welcome and support scholars who are research active in these areas, and the Centre's seminar and lecture programs will be focused on these fields.Christian-Muslim RelationsGiven 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.

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