Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology

Our People

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Director

Professor Anthony Maher

Executive Director

Professor Anthony M. Maher is the Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity & Culture, and the Director of The Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society (CRES). He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom and a past President of the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania (APTO). He was the Consultant Theologian to Catholic Education Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at the Australian Institute for Theological Education and the Co-ordinator of Pastoral-Practical Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney (Sydney College of Divinity). Prior to his move to Australia, Anthony was a Senior Lecturer in Social, Economic and Political Ethics, and the Philosophy of Religion, at Newman University, Birmingham.

Anthony’s research interests encompass: ecclesiology, practical theology and the characteristics of Mission within post-secular culture, together with Ignatian spirituality, pedagogy and formation. Recent publications include: Theology and the People of God, (St Paul’s Publications, 2022), The Forgotten Jesuit of Catholic Modernism: George Tyrrell's Prophetic Theology, (Fortress Press, 2018), Faith and the Political in the Post-Secular Age, (Coventry Press, 2018). Bridging the Divide Between Faith Theology and Life (ATF Press, 2015) and Educating Hearts: Seven Characteristics of a Good School (2013, St Paul’s Publications). Current research comprises work on an Australian methodology for Theology, and two books on synodal ecclesiology, one being an Australian case study, considering the Australian Plenary Council, the other, explores a post-foundational ecclesiology as a foundation for a synodal Church.  Anthony is married to Lesley, who is a Director of Mission and formation, they have been married for thirty years, and have four children.

Assistant Director

Dr Jonathan Cole

Jonathan Cole has a PhD in Christian political theology (Charles Sturt University, 2019), an MA specialising in Middle Eastern politics and Islamic theology (Australian National University, 2007) and a BA Hons in Modern Greek language and history (La Trobe University, 2000).

Prior to embarking on an academic career in 2014, Jonathan spent 13 years working in a number of Australian federal government agencies (2001–2014), including the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Medicare Australia, the Defence Signals Directorate and the Office of National Assessments.‚Äč

His primary research interest is the intersection of religion and politics, with a particular focus on Christianity and Islam. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality (Wipf and Stock, 2019).