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 CRES directorate.


Our mission

The Centre for Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) is soon changing to the Centre for Religion and Ethics and Society (CRES). We are 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

PaCT scholars are involved in a variety of research fields. Among them, three key areas of research activity have been identified.

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 Charles Sturt 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: Losing Ground

27 Oct 2021

Book News: Losing Ground

Congratulations to Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) research fellow Dr Jione Havea on the publication of his recent book Losing Ground: Reading Ruth in the Pacific.Dr Havea's book is published by SCM Press and give the following description about the book:The Ruth narrative opens with a climate crisis – a famine pushed a family to migrate – and...

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Scholar News: Political Theology as Transformative Opposition

15 Oct 2021

Scholar News: Political Theology as Transformative Opposition

The Centre for Public and Contextual Theology Research Fellow Dr Steven Ogden has had a piece published on the Political Theology network titled "Political Theology as Transformative Opposition".His forthcoming book is Violence, Entitlement, and Politics (Routledge, 2021), where he identifies entitlement as predominantly a masculine gender pattern, characterised by proprietorial thinking, which has personal and political implications....

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Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisations (CISAC) launches research website

10 Oct 2021

Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisations (CISAC) launches research website

The Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisations (CISAC) at Charles Sturt University has launched a research website for its research projects, activities and outputs. This page includes CISAC staff’s published articles and summaries of their research outputs. The page also introduces the summaries of CISAC students’ high-quality essays.The Centre for Islamic Studies and...

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A fellowship of the vaccinated?

22 Sep 2021

A fellowship of the vaccinated?

PaCT research fellow Dr Andrew Errington has written an opinion piece for ABC Religion and Ethics titled "A fellowship of the vaccinated? How churches should — and should not — respond to the state government’s COVID-19 restrictions" . The piece was published on 20 September 2021....

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Book News

31 Aug 2021

Book News

Congratulations to PaCT scholar Dr Jione Havea on the publication of his edited book of essays titled MEDIAting Theology published by Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. According to the publisher:This collection engages the challenges and opportunities for doing theology in the context or age of media. The intersection of media with theology is reciprocating: media boosts theology in its functions to...

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