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

Call for Proposals: Religious Responses to Sex Work and Sex Trafficking - Routledge

20 Sep 2019

Call for Proposals: Religious Responses to Sex Work and Sex Trafficking - Routledge

PaCT Fellow Dr Lauren McGrow and Associate Professor in the Practice of Ethics and Society at Candler School of Theology at Emory University Dr Letitia M. Campbell are inviting scholars to submit a chapter for a forthcoming text examining the intersections of faith-based activism, religious beliefs and the sex industry in diverse locations. This is a topic that has been...

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‘Anamnesis in the sacramental vision of George Herbert’

20 Sep 2019

‘Anamnesis in the sacramental vision of George Herbert’

PaCT Research Fellow, The Rev’d Dr Brian Douglas, recently attended the Congress of Societas Liturgica in Durham, UK, where he presented a paper. Societas Liturgica is an international society of liturgists and meets once every two years for a Congress. The theme of this year’s congress was anamnesis or remembrance. Brian presented a paper as part of his current PaCT...

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Call for Abstracts: Things that make for Peace Conference II

20 Sep 2019

Call for Abstracts: Things that make for Peace Conference II

The Conference Conveners for the 2020 Things that Make for Peace Conference II are calling for Abstracts. The theme of next year's conference is “Peace Within, Peace Without: Theological and Philosophical Explorations” and will be held in Sydney 18 - 20 March 2020.Abstract submission date: 30 November 2019The 2017 Islamophobia Report revealed that over 50% of Australian have a negative...

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St Andrew's 3rd Theology Symposium

23 Aug 2019

St Andrew's 3rd Theology Symposium

PaCT Fellow Dr Mario Baghos will be giving a paper at St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College's 3rd Theology Symposium: The Importance of Christology for the 21st Century (20-21 September, 2019). His topic is 'Tradition contra Positivism in Representations of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'. To find out more about the conference and to view Dr Baghos abstract visit...

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Book News: Islam as Education: Pedagogies of Pilgrimage, Prophecy, and Jihad

23 Aug 2019

Book News: Islam as Education: Pedagogies of Pilgrimage, Prophecy, and Jihad

Congratulations to PaCT Fellow Dr Aaron J. Ghiloni whose book Islam as Education: Pedagogies of Pilgrimage, Prophecy, and Jihad has been published by Fortress Academic. Dr Ghiloni was supported by PaCT to publish the book. The book publishes state:Motivated by the intellectual historian Shahab Ahmed’s observation that “the history of Islamic paideia has yet to be...

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