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

PaCT Scholar receives book award

15 Nov 2019

PaCT Scholar receives book award

Congratulations to PaCT fellow Professor Bruce Stevens who was recently awarded the Australasian Journal of Ageing Book Award 2019 for his book, The Storied Self: A Narrative Approach to the Spiritual Care of the Aged.Professor Stevens received the award at the 52nd Australian Association of Gerontology National Conference in Sydney on 7 November 2019.To be eligible for the...

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PACT Fellow Luncheon

01 Nov 2019

PACT Fellow Luncheon

PACT fellow Virginia Miller was the special guest at a recent luncheon in Oxford for the Crawford Miller visiting fellow. At the luncheon Virginia had the opportunity to discuss her work on Austin's Farrer's theory of images and to discuss her recent book, A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative (Brill, 2019). The luncheon was hosted by...

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The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

11 Oct 2019

The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

An Oxford University Press book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer which was co-edited by PaCT Fellow Dr Michael Mawson is about to be published.The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the most comprehensive reference work on Dietrich Bonhoeffer to date, offering an overview of all aspects of Bonhoeffer and his legacy. It features fresh assessments of all aspects of Bonhoeffer's...

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PaCT Fellow appointed to World Council of Churches’ Role

11 Oct 2019

PaCT Fellow appointed to World Council of Churches’ Role

Congratulations to PaCT fellow Dr Seforosa Carroll who has been appointed as Programme Executive, Mission and Evangelism / Mission from the Margins at the World Council of Churches. The role is based in Geneva.For the last several years Dr Carroll has worked for Uniting World on their Pacific partnerships which is a mix of theological work and program development.Dr Carroll...

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The Visual Commentary on Scripture

04 Oct 2019

 The Visual Commentary on Scripture

Dr Rod Pattenden has contributed to the newly developed online resource The Visual Commentary on Scripture, a project being led by Professor Ben Quash of Kings College London. This resource provides short commentaries on scriptural texts through the lense of three artworks provided by leading scholars from around the world. This resource gives preachers and scholars an expanded...

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