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

Andrew Cameron: Freedoms religious and social: An Australian stock-take

07 Jun 2019

Andrew Cameron: Freedoms religious and social: An Australian stock-take

PaCT member Associate Professor Rev Andrew Cameron, who is the Director of St Mark's National Theological Centre, has recently published an opinion piece in On Line Opinion titled "Freedoms religious and social: an Australian stocktake".As I write this article, Israel Folau is considering his future with the Wallabies. A keenly public Christian, Folau has posted to social media a...

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Religion, spirituality and significant life events: Issues concerning belief and wellbeing in contemporary society

07 Jun 2019

 Religion, spirituality and significant life events: Issues concerning belief and wellbeing in contemporary society

PaCT Fellow Dr Anthony Hogan has self-published a report which examines the role spiritual and religious belief plays in assisting people to come to terms with significant life events.Religion, spirituality and significant life events: Issues concerning belief and wellbeing in contemporary societyThe study was designed while Anthony was Professor of Governance at the University of Canberra. The resulting analysis...

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Restoring her name: The witness of Mahrahkah and the survival of a nation

07 Jun 2019

Restoring her name: The witness of Mahrahkah and the survival of a nation

Felicity McCallum who is an Awabakal woman, a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University and a research member of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology has published a piece in ABC Religion and Ethics titled "...

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Book news: Modern Interpretation of the Qur’an: The Contribution of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

24 May 2019

Book news: Modern Interpretation of the Qur’an: The Contribution of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Dr Hakan Ҫoruh whose book Modern Interpretation of the Qur'an: The Contribution of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Dr Ҫoruh received a book publication assistance grant from PaCT to complete the book.This book analyzes the distinguished modern Muslim scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and the methodology of Qur’anic exegesis in his...

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Book news: Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent

24 May 2019

Book news: Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Dr Jonathan Cole whose book Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent has been published by Wipf and Stock.About the book:At a moment in which interest in political theology is rising, acceptance of a public role for religion is declining, and cynicism regarding both political and religious institutions is overflowing, this book investigates...

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