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.
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.
PaCT scholars are involved in a variety of research fields. Among them, three key areas of research activity have been identified for 2017-2021.
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 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.
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:
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.
17 May 2019
PaCT member Dr Derya Iner has had a book chapter published in Islamophobia in Muslim Majority SocietiesThe book chapter is co-written with Katy Nebhan and is published by Routledge. The book chapter is titled "Islamophobia from Within: A Case Study on Australian Muslim Women".Dr Iner is currently supported by PaCT to do research into islamophobia in Australia....
17 May 2019
Anthony Hogan: The Christian Left – a case study of value driven social progressives? PaCT Fellow Dr Anthony Hogan has had an opinion piece published on 17 May 2019 on John Menadue's website Pearls and Irritations called "The Christian Left – a case study of value driven social progressives?"Perhaps being socially progressive and Christian are not...
13 May 2019
PaCT Fellow Dr Jonathan Cole was recently interviewed by ABC's Karen Tong for a news articled titled 'Federal election 2019: Why Christians on the left are a growing voting bloc'. Click on the link to read some of his comments and analysis leading up to the federal election on May 18....
10 May 2019
Director of PaCT the Rt Rev'd Professor Stephen Pickard has had an opinion piece published in ABC Religion and Ethics on 7 May 2019 titled 'The question of religious freedom in a post-secular society'The issue of religious freedom in Australian society is a matter of significant moment. But the question of freedom of religion is never a simple,...
10 May 2019
An extensive project into the number of journals in theology and religion has been compiled and ranked.PaCT Member Professor Paul Oslington also did an analysis of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants in religion and theology.The Professor of Economics and Dean of Business at Alphacrucis College received funding from Australian Research Theology Foundation with additional contributions from the University of Divinity,...
The executive board of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT) is pleased to announce its Call for Papers for the upcoming consultation of the GNPT. The consultation will be...
The 8th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality will be held in Canberra 27 - 30 October 2019 at Old Parliament House. PaCT is pleased to be a partner of...