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

Dr Zuleyha Keskin: Back from Christchurch with great sadness

01 Apr 2019

Dr Zuleyha Keskin: Back from Christchurch with great sadness

Dr Zuleyha Keskin is a PaCT Fellow and Senior Lecture at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC), Charles Sturt University. She has published a piece on Australian Muslim Times called "Back from Christchurch with great sadness" where she writes about recent visit to the city after the terrorist attack.Since we have returned from Christchurch, I have...

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Dr Derya Iner on ABC’s Soul Search

25 Mar 2019

Dr Derya Iner on ABC’s Soul Search

PaCT fellow and Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Contemporary Studies at the Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University Dr Derya Iner was recently interviewed by Dr Meredith Lake from ABC’s Soul Search program about Islamphobia and the Christchurch terror attack.In the 16 minute interview Dr Iner explained how she was midway through writing up...

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Mehmet Ozalp: The ideology behind Brenton Tarrant's terror attack poses a threat to us all

22 Mar 2019

Mehmet Ozalp: The ideology behind Brenton Tarrant's terror attack poses a threat to us all

The Director of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation and PaCT fellow Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp has written an opinion piece published on ABC Religion and Ethics about the ideology of Brenton Tarrant, the man accused of murdering 50 people in the Christchurch terrorist attack on 15 March 2019.Associate Professor Ozalp argues the ideology that inspired Tarrant is more...

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Dr Sef Carroll interviewed by ABC's Soul Search

18 Mar 2019

Dr Sef Carroll interviewed by ABC's Soul Search

PaCT Fellow and manager of UnitingChurch world's partnerships in the Pacific was recently interviewed by Dr Meredith Lake from ABC's Soul Search about Coconut Theology and Climate Change. She explained how she is rethinking the Christianity she grew up with in Fiji, and the way the coconut is utilised as a metaphor for Jesus' death and resurrection.Listen to the 26...

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Women in Scriptural Reasoning – Sarah and Hagar

25 Feb 2019

Women in Scriptural Reasoning – Sarah and Hagar

PaCT Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisations (CISAC) Dr Mahsheed Ansari recently participated in a Women in Scripture Reasoning Day which explored the theme of ‘Sarah and Hagar’ in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The event was held on the 27 September 2018 at the Mary MacKillop Centre in North Sydney and was part of an exposure...

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