Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology

The Mural Wall of the Holy Spirit in Our Land - described below

The Mural Wall of the Holy Spirit in Our Land is a mosaic representation of the painting by the late Hector Jandany, renowned elder, Lawman and painter of the Gija people (East Kimberley). The Holy Spirit is depicted in the form of the white owl of the Gija people. The Mural Wall is located in the grounds of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, which is the home of the PaCT directorate.

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

Book news: From the Ancient Near East to Christian Byzantium: Kings, Symbols, and Cities

06 May 2021

Book news: From the Ancient Near East to Christian Byzantium: Kings, Symbols, and Cities

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Dr Mario Baghos on the publication of his most recent book, From the Ancient Near East to Christian Byzantium: Kings, Symbols, and Cities, by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.This book combines concepts from the history of religions with Byzantine studies in its assessments of kings, symbols, and cities in a diachronic and cross-cultural analysis. The work attests, firstly,...

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Book News: Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence

20 Apr 2021

Book News: Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Dr Virginia Miller on the publication of her book Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence.According to the publisher, Firenze University Press:"This book is an objective, evidence-based analysis of the empirical findings, methodologies and conclusions of the three main national inquiries (Irish, US, Australian) into child sexual abuse in the...

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Book News: A Practical Christology for Pastoral Supervision

13 Apr 2021

Book News: A Practical Christology for Pastoral Supervision

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Rev'd Dr Geoff Broughton on the publication of his book A Practical Christology for Pastoral Supervision which is published by Routledge.This book sets out a Christological framework for developing and delivering pastoral supervision. Pastoral supervision is a key consideration for any denomination, congregation, or faith-based organisation, so this is a vital resource for well-being...

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Muslim Christian Academics in Dialogue: Theological Responses to COVID-19

29 Oct 2020

Muslim Christian Academics in Dialogue: Theological Responses to COVID-19

The latest online symposium from Muslim Christian Academics in Dialogue is now available on Youtube.PaCT scholars Hakan Coruh, Clive Pearson, Mehmet Ozalp and Stephen Pickard discuss Theological Responses to COVID-19 in Muslim and Christian traditions. Presented by Mansheed Ansari....

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Book News: A King and a Fool? by Virginia Miller, open source pdf now available

08 Oct 2020

Book News: A King and a Fool? by Virginia Miller, open source pdf now available

A King and a Fool? – The Succession Narrative as a Satire, by PaCT fellow Dr Virginia Miller was published by Brill as part of the Biblical Interpretations Series 2019.The e-book is now available as an open source pdf.Read it here.Virginia Miller applies a new version of Douglas Muecke’s taxonomy of irony to the Succession Narrative. She argues...

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