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.
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.
PACT scholars are involved in a variety of research fields. Among them, three key areas of research activity have been identified for 2017-2021.
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 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.
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:
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.
13 Aug 2018
New PaCT Research Fellows, Ruth Powell and Miriam Pepper have made a contributed to an upcoming publication of Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (Brill) in a special section titled ‘The National Church Life Survey in Australia’. The book is expected to be published on the 25th October 2018. Their chapters include:Twenty-Five Years of Data on Australian...
06 Aug 2018
SBL Press has published a book edited by PaCT Fellow Dr Jione Havea featuring essays on native readings of the Bible from the South Pacific.Sea of Readings: The Bible in the South Pacific was published in May 2018.An essay from editor Dr Havea introduces the volume by locating these essays within islander criticism and by explaining the flow...
06 Aug 2018
PaCT Fellow Professor Ruth Powell is one of the guest speaker's at this year's Beyond Festival which celebrates community, justice, art and music.Beyond Festival will be held at Osborne Park Kangaroo Valley Showground, Kangaroo Valley, from Friday November 23rd to Sunday November 25th.Professor Ruth Powell is Director of the National Church Life Survey, the second biggest survey in the...
06 Aug 2018
PaCT Fellow presents at two international literature conferences PaCT Fellow Dr Virginia Miller has recently presented at two international conferences.In July Dr Miller presented at the International CISLE Conference (Conference of the International Study of Literatures in English) on “Transcending Boundaries: Migrations, Dislocations and Literary Transformations”.Her presentation with Professor Seumas Miller was on ‘Post-Exilic Writing in the Bible: Irony, Satire...
30 Jul 2018
PaCT Research Professor Wayne Hudson continues to be involved in political and social implications of a new religious thought.He is one of the guest speaker’s at the upcoming 2018 Telos Europe Conference themed ‘The Endurance of Empire’ which will be held in Sicily from August 31 to September 2 and is being organised by Telos Paul Piccone Institute.Professor...
September 11, 2018 at 6pm
You're invited to attend the launch of two books at the Chapel at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture on September 11, 2018 at 6pm. Faith and the Political...
24th Sep 2018 9:00am - 28th Sep 2018 5:00pm
The Centre for Ecumenical Studies (within Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, CSU) will present “Looking Beyond Division,” a five-day intensive introduction to ecumenism to be held at the Australian...