Charles Sturt University
CRES Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society

Our People

Acting Director

Dr Jonathan Cole

Jonathan Cole has a PhD in Christian political theology (Charles Sturt University, 2019), an MA specialising in Middle Eastern politics and Islamic theology (Australian National University, 2007) and a BA Hons in Modern Greek language and history (La Trobe University, 2000).

Prior to embarking on an academic career in 2014, Jonathan spent 13 years working in a number of Australian federal government agencies (2001–2014), including the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Medicare Australia, the Defence Signals Directorate and the Office of National Assessments.

His research is primarily in the area of Christian political theology and he is currently working on the role of the doctrine of providence in Christian political thought. Forthcoming and recent publications include: Christos Yannaras, On the "Meaning" of Politics, translated and with an introduction by Jonathan Cole, foreword by Rowan Williams (Routledge, forthcoming); Jonathan Cole, The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority (London: T&T Clark, 2022); Peter Walker and Jonathan Cole, eds. Theology on a Defiant Earth: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene (Lanham: Lexington, 2022); Jonathan Cole, "The Trinity: Prototype of Real Existence or Danger to Political Wellbeing? Tanner, Volf, and Yannaras in Conversation," Religions 12, no. 998 (2021); and Jonathan Cole, "The Addition of Orthodox Voices to (Western) Political Theology," Studies in Christian Ethics 33, no.4 (2020).

Professor Anthony Maher

Professor Anthony M Maher is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom and a past President of the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania (APTO). He was the Consultant Theologian to Catholic Education Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at the Australian Institute for Theological Education, and the Coordinator of Pastoral-Practical Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney (Sydney College of Divinity). Prior to his move to Australia, Anthony was a Senior Lecturer in Social, Economic and Political Ethics, and the Philosophy of Religion, at Newman University, Birmingham. Anthony’s research interests encompass ecclesiology, practical theology and the characteristics of Mission within post-secular culture, together with Ignatian spirituality, pedagogy and formation.

Recent publications include: Theology and the People of God (St Paul’s Publications 2022), The Forgotten Jesuit of Catholic Modernism: George Tyrrell's Prophetic Theology (Fortress Press 2018), Faith and the Political in the Post-Secular Age, (Coventry Press 2018). Bridging the Divide Between Faith Theology and Life (ATF Press 2015) and Educating Hearts: Seven Characteristics of a Good School (St Paul’s Publications 2013). Current research comprises work on an Australian methodology for Theology, and two books on synodal ecclesiology, one being an Australian case study, considering the Australian Plenary Council, the second, explores a post-foundational ecclesiology as a foundation for a synodal Church. Anthony is married to Lesley, who is a Director of Mission and formation, they have been married for thirty years, and have four children.


Professor Wayne Hudson

Wayne Hudson studied history and law at the University of Sydney, and German philosophy at Oxford University where he worked with the renowned Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski. Subsequently he was elected a Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Oxford and taught Philosophical Anthropology in the Philosophy Department at the University of Utrecht whilst a National Research Scholar and member of the Utrecht Postmodernism Circle. Working across the fields of philosophy, history, politics and religion, he has published 24 books and 86 refereed articles and book chapters, and has won 25 research grants. He has lectured at Oxford University, the Collège international de philosophie in Paris, McGill University in Canada, Georgetown University and the University of California at both Berkeley and Irvine, and at Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Professor Hudson’s research addresses connections between utopianism, heterodoxy and social reform. His recent publications include: Wayne Hudson, Beyond Religion and the Secular: Creative Spiritual Movements and their Relevance to Political, Social and Cultural Reform (London: Bloomsbury, 2022); Wayne Hudson and Geoff Lindsay, eds., Australian Jurists and Christianity (Alexandria, NSW: Federation Press, 2022); Wayne Hudson, “Charles Strong in Australian Intellectual History,” in Charles Strong’s Australian Church: Christian Social Activism 1885–1917, ed. Marion Maddox (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 2021);Azyumardi Azra and Wayne Hudson, eds., Islam Beyond Conflict: Indonesian Islam and Western Political Theory 2nd ed. (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017); Wayne Hudson, Australian Religious Thought (Melbourne: Monash University Press, 2016).

Professor Neil Ormerod

Neil Ormerod has doctorates in mathematics and theology. He has worked as a theologian for over 35 years, including 14 years as Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University. In 2013 he was made a Fellow of the Australian Catholic Theological Association, in recognition of his major contribution to Catholic theology in Australia. His articles regularly appear in leading international theological journals. His current research interests include ecological theology, Trinity and soteriology. His main influences are the work of Jesuit theologians Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran. He has also been actively involved in the sexual abuse issue and appeared as an expert witness in the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse.

“A hidden ecological dialectic: an oversight in Insight”, in Theological Studies.
“Mission, Reform and Suffering: The Challenge of the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church” in Journal of Moral Theology

Recent publications:
“The Parable of the Good Samaritan, Clericalism, and the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Australian Context” Revista Iberoamericana de Teología no 34 (June 2022), 105-122.
“’And we shall see him face to face: a trinitarian account of the beatific vision” Theological Studies, 82(4) (2021) 646–662.
“Evolution and Decline: Making Wholeness in a Time of Ecological Decline”, Religions 12/8 (2021): 1–11.
“The law of the cross and Climate Change” Theological Studies 82(2) (2021), 238–258.

Professor Scott Cowdell

Professor Scott Cowdell is the author of ten books, including René Girard and the Nonviolent God (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018) and Mimetic Theory and its Shadow: Girard, Milbank, and Ontological Violence (Michigan State University Press, 2023). These further develop his internationally recognized theological engagement with the mimetic theory of religion, culture and violence developed by the French American theorist René Girard (1923-2015). With Joel Hodge (Australian Catholic University) and Chris Fleming (Western Sydney University) he founded the Australian Girard Seminar in 2011, serving as its President and co-editing its “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred” series with Bloomsbury Academic, which currently stands at twelve volumes. Fr Cowdell also writes about ecclesiology, with Church Matters: Essays and Addresses on Ecclesial Belonging published in 2022 with Coventry Press, Melbourne, showcasing his contributions over 25 years. His next book is Why Church?, which he is currently working on as Dean’s Scholar at the Virginia Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church.

Dr Xiaoli Yang

Xiaoli Yang holds a PhD in Intercultural Theology (University of Divinity, 2015) and an MDiv specialising in the New Testament and Chinese religions (Australian College of Theology, 2003). Her research interests include intercultural theology, world/Asian christianity, poetic theology, comparative theology, migration, ethno-hermeneutics and spirituality/spiritual direction.  Her poetry has been widely published and used in spiritual direction and retreats.

She currently serves as the President of the Australian Association of Mission Studies, is a Convener of Chinese Missiology with the International Association of Mission Studies, and Convenor of World Christianity and Missiology at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Studies.

Forthcoming publications include: (co-edited with Daryl Ireland), Chinese Christian Witness: Identity, Creativity, Transmission (Brill); “Lived Poetics of Contemporary Chinese Art—Remembering, Reimagining and Responding,” in Chinese Christian Witness: Identity, Creativity, Transmission (Brill); “Towards a Grassroots Missiology: Case Studies of Missio Dei in the Streets of East Asia,” in Refaithing Work: Missiological Perspectives for a Disrupted Age (Brill).

Her recent publications include: A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke—Chinese Homecoming and the Relationship with Jesus Christ (Brill, 2018); “Chinese Christian Identities in a Wounded World,” Special edition on Chinese Missiology, Mission Studies, 39, no. 3 (2022) (co-edited with Daryl Ireland); “The Letter to Titus,” in An Asian Introduction to the New Testament, ed. Johnson Thomaskutty, 383-403 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2022); and “Towards a Chinese Theology of Displacement—the Poetic Journey of a Chinese Migrant,” Mission Studies 37, no. 2 (2020).

Dr Amy Erickson

Amy J. Erickson is Lecturer in Theology at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University. She is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, where her PhD explored the ecclesiology and hermeneutics of the contemporary scholar Ephraim Radner through a theological reading of Hosea. Her research interests include figural reading, ecclesiology, church discipline, Sabbath, and the biblical understanding of wilderness as it relates to contemporary ethical concerns.

Her publications include: "Surveillance and Sabbath: Alternative Powers, Alternative Hopes," in Environmental Hope: Socio-Anthropological Approaches of Religion, eds. David Kim and Duncan Wright (forthcoming, Brill); "Figuring One's Calling: A Lukan Passion Theology of Vocation in Dialogue with Karl Barth" (forthcoming, Journal of Theological Interpretation); and Ephraim Radner, Hosean Wilderness, and the Church in the Post-Christendom West: A Dialogue on the Shape of Waiting (Brill, 2020).

Dr Virginia Miller

Virginia Miller has published widely in the areas of biblical studies, church policy and ecumenism. She is the author of A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative as a Satire (Brill) and Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence (Florence University Press). She has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on topics such as: religious freedom, institutional autonomy, elder abuse, euthanasia, and more. At present she divides her time between Rome and Canberra. In Rome she is undertaking a second doctorate in biblical studies at the Gregorian University and collaborates with the Catholic Biblical Federation.

Professor Alan Cadwallader

Alan Cadwallader's research interests are ancient religion and material culture, Colossae and the letters to the Colossians and Philemon, Gospel of Mark, nineteenth century biblical scholars and scholarship and, in general, the interface between culture and faith. Forthcoming publications include: Colossae, Colossians, Philemon: The Interface (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) and edited collection, The Ancient Village and Early Christianity (T&T Clark).

His recent publications include “A Return to Peace and Security: the parts and the whole,” in First Urban Churches vol. 7, eds. J. Harrison and L. Welborn (SBL, 2022); “Complicating class in the Letter to Philemon: a prolegomenon,” in The Struggle over Class: Socioeconomic Analysis of Ancient Jewish and Christian Texts,eds. G. A. Keddie, M. Flexsenhar and S. J. Friesen  (SBL, 2021); “The Devil as an Agent of Diplomacy: variations in the transmission of the story of St Michael of Chonai,” in Dealing with Difference: Patterns of Response to Religious Rivalry in Late Antiquity, eds. G. Dunn and T. Shepardson (Mohr Siebeck, 2021).

Professor Paul Oslington

Paul Oslington holds a PhD in economics from the University of Sydney and a Doctor of Theology from the University of Divinity, Melbourne. From 2008 to 2013 he held a unique joint appointment as Professor in the Schools of Business and Theology at Australian Catholic University. Prior to that, he was Associate Professor of Economics at the University of New South Wales from 2000 to 2008. He held visiting positions at the University of Oxford in 1999, University of British Columbia and Regent College Vancouver in 2003, Princeton Theological Seminary and University in 2006/7 and the Center of Theological Inquiry Princeton in 2020.

His research interests are international trade and labour markets, the history of economic thought, and relationships between economics and religion. He is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Economics and Christianity (2014) and Economics and Religion (Edward Elgar: 2003), as well as the author of Political Economy as Natural Theology: Smith, Malthus and their Followers (Routledge: 2018) and Adam Smith as Theologian (Taylor and Francis: 2011). He has published articles in Economic Record, Australian Economic Papers, Australian Economic Review, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, Labour, Economics Letters, World Economy, Review of International Economics, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, History of Economics Review, History of Political Economy, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Journal of Business Ethics, Studies in Christian Ethics, Faith and Economics, Journal of Markets and Morality and Theological Studies.

He is currently working on a monograph commissioned by Harvard University Press called God and Economic Order.

Dr Suleyman Sertkaya

Suleyman Sertkaya is a Course Director and Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. Suleyman completed his PhD thesis on modern approaches to sīrah (biography of Prophet Muhammad) genre at the Australian Catholic University. His major interests are sīrah of the Prophet and sīrah philosophy, exegesis of the Qur’an, hadīth (Prophetic tradition), interpretation of Islamic sacred texts, Kalam (Islamic systematic theology), radicalisation and Islam, Islam and morality, history of prophets, oral history, history of Islam and Muslims in Australia.

Recent and forthcoming publications include: Modern Approaches to Sīrah Genre: The Contribution and Evaluation of Fethullah Gülen’s Perspective (Springer: Forthcoming); “A Prophetic Stance Against Violence: Analysis of the Meccan Period of Prophet Muhammad’s Life and the Centrality of Peace as a Preferred Method,” in Things that Make for Peace: Traversing Text and Tradition, ed. Anthony Rees (Lexington Books, 2020); (with Zuleyha Keskin) “A Prophetic Stance against Violence: An Analysis of the Peaceful Attitude of Prophet Muhammad during the Medinan Period,” Religions 11, no. 11 (2020); “A Critical and Historical Overview of the Sīrah Genre from the Classical to the Modern Period,” Religions 13 (2022); and “What Changed in Medina: The Place of Peace and War in the Life of Prophet Muhammad,” Religions 14, no.2 (2023).

Dr Jione Havea

Jione Havea is a native pastor (Methodist Church in Tonga) whose work circles around the intersections of religious studies, sacred texts, and Moana criticism. He has (co-)authored five books, over 130 articles and book chapters, and (co-)edited 26 books.

His forthcoming publications include “Homing Woman-Eve in Native World(view)s: A Moana Reading,” in Handbook of Eve, eds. Caroline Blyth and Emily Colgan (Routledge); “Theologizing Moana and Pasifika World(view)s,” in Transpacific Political Theology, ed. Kwok Pui-lan (Baylor University Press); “Native religions and hidden Moana ecologies,” in World Christianity and Ecological Theologies, eds. Graham McGeoch et al. (Fortress); and "unsettling economies: a Moana account(ing)," in Unsettling Theologies, eds. Michael Mawson and Brian Kolia (Palgrave).

His recent publications include the edited collection, Troubling (Public) Theologies: Spaces, Bodies, Technologies (Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2023); Theology as Threshold: Invitations from Aotearoa New Zealand, co-edited with Emily Colgan and Nāsili Vaka'uta, (Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2022); Losing Ground: Reading Ruth in the Pacific (SCM, 2021); and An Earth Bible Commentary (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Dr Hakan Ҫoruh

Hakan Ҫoruh is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University. He completed his PhD at the Australian Catholic University in 2015, which looked at early modern exegesis of the Qur’an (Said Nursi, Muhammad ‘Abduh, and Sir Ahmad Khan).

His main interests are classical and modern Qur'an exegesis, Islamic Ethics (akhlaq), contemporary Islamic thought, Islamic legal theories (usul al-fiqh) and jurisprudence (fiqh), Islamic theology (kalām), Islam in South East Asia and comparative theology.

His publications include:

Modern Interpretation of the Qur’an: The Contribution of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019); “Qur’ānic Hermeneutics in the 19th and 20th Century: Said Nursī (d. 1960),” in Handbook of Qur’ānic Hermeneutics, ed. Georges Tamer (Walter de Gruyter, 2020); “The Prophets as Archetypes of Peace in the Qur’an: The Use and Non-use of Isrā’īliyyāt Sources in the Story of Mūsa,” in Things that Make for Peace: Traversing Text and Tradition, ed. Anthony Rees (Lexington Books, 2020); “Refuting the Extremist Interpretations of the Text and the Prophetic Traditions: The Case of Qur’an 2:256,” in Contesting the theological foundations of Islamism and violent extremism, eds. Fethi Mansouri and Zuleyha Keskin (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019).

Professor Brian Douglas

Brian Douglas is an Anglican priest in the Anglican Church of Australia with a research interest in Anglican liturgy and sacramental theology, particularly eucharistic theology.  His doctorate (University of Newcastle, Australia, 2006) focussed on the multiformity of philosophical assumptions underlying Anglican eucharistic theology and the implications for theological education. He is the author of several books: A Companion to Anglican Eucharistic Theology 2 volumes (Brill, 2012), The Eucharistic Theology of Edward Bouverie Pusey: Sources, Context and Doctrine within the Oxford Movement and Beyond (Brill, 2015), The Anglican Eucharist in Australia: The History, Theology and Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Anglican Church of Australia (Brill, 2021) and Sacramental Poetics in Richard Hooker and George Herbert: Exploring the Abundance of God (Fortress/Lexington, 2022).

He is also the author of numerous articles in The Journal of Anglican Studies, The Journal of Theological Studies, The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Studia Liturgica, The Heythrop Journal and New Blackfriars. Brian is the Editor of The Journal of Anglican Studies and lectures in theology at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Brian is presently researching the seventeenth century Anglican divine Herbert Thorndike.

Professor Ben Myers 

Ben Myers is a specialist in theology and literature, with particular interests in seventeenth-century literature and modern theology.

He has worked as a lecturer at Charles Sturt University, a research fellow at the University of Queensland, and as director of research at Alphacrucis University College. He has held visiting appointments at Fuller Seminary and the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. His publications include Milton’s Theology of Freedom (de Gruyter), Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams (T&T Clark), and The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism (Lexham), as well as over 40 articles in journals such as Scottish Journal of Theology, International Journal of Systematic Theology, New Blackfriars, Anglican Theological Review, International Journal of Public Theology, Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie, and Journal of the History of Ideas.

His current research focuses on representations of God in seventeenth-century poetry.

Associate Professor Derya Iner

Derya Iner is an Associate Professor and research coordinator at the Centre for Islamic Studies (CISAC), where she teaches and conducts research on contemporary issues related to Islam, Islamic cultures and Muslims. She received her PhD in Cultural Studies (major) and Gender and Women's Studies (minor) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.

Derya is known for her work as the chief investigator and editor of the Islamophobia in Australia Reports I, II, III, and IV (2017, 2019, 2022, and 2023), which have gained nationwide and worldwide attention by reaching millions. Derya is also the deputy chair and research head of the Islamophobia Register Australia and co-founder of the International Islamophobia and Children Network.

Forthcoming and recent publications include:

"A ‘Reasonable’ and ‘Excusable’ Violence: The Spread of Anti-Muslim Violence Through the Machinery of Media, Social Media, and Trigger Events,” in Racism, Violence and Media, eds. Waqas Tufail and Scott Poynting (Palgrave, forthcoming); with Sean McManus, “Islamophobia in Australia,” in The Rise of Global Islamophobia in the War on Terror, eds. Naved Bakali and Farid Hafiz (Manchester University Press, 2022); “Faith-Inspired Muslim Parents’ School Choices and Attitudes in the Cultural West and Australia,” Religions 12 (2021); with Souha Korbatieh, “Women’s Agency and Islamophobia,” in Muslim Women and Agency: An Australian Context, eds. Ghena Krayem and Susan Carland (Brill, 2021); with Amina Baghdadi, “Multilayered Discrimination of Muslim Women in Workplace," in Muslim Women in the Economy: Development, Faith and Globalisation (Research in Religion and Development series), eds. Dora Marinova and Shamim Samani (Routledge, 2021); “Pro-Active Religious Rehabilitation to Prevent Radicalism and Violent Extremism,” in Refuting Radicalisation Religiously, eds. Fethi Mansouri and Zuleyha Keskin (Palgrave, 2019); and with Katy Nebhan, “Islamophobia within Muslim Communities: An Australian Muslim Case Study," in Internal Islamophobia in Muslim Societies, eds. Enes Bayrakli and Farid Hafez (Routledge, 2019).

Associate Professor Zuleyha Keskin

Zuleyha is the Associate Head of School at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation  and a lecturer in Islamic spirituality and contemporary Islamic studies. Zuleyha is also the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies and President of the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies. Zuleyha is interested in the intersection between Islamic spirituality and Islamic psychology.

Her publications include: Attaining Inner Peace in Islam: Said Nursi's Perspective (Springer, 2021); with Mehmet Ozalp, "An Islamic Approach to Environmental Protection and Ecologically Sustainable Peace in the Age of the Anthropocene," in Towards a Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace: Navigating the Great Transition, eds. Joseph Camilleri and Deborah Guess (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020); with Mehmet Ozalp, "Islamic Studies in Australia's Universities," Religions 12, no.2 (2021); with Suleyman Sertkaya, "A Prophetic Stance again Violence: An Analysis of the Peaceful Attitude of Prophet Muhammad during the Medinan Period," Religions 11, no. 11 (2020); and with Fethi Mansouri, eds., Contesting the Theological Foundations of Islamism and Violent Extremism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).