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Ethos is the EA (Evangelical Alliance) Centre for Christianity and Society. Ethos goes beyond an ethics of dilemmas, decisions and doing to one of character, culture and community, centred in Jesus Christ.

Ethos was formed in 2010 to combine the endeavours and personnel of two national Christian organisations engaged with Australian society: the Zadok Institute for Christianity and Society and the Evangelical Alliance’s Department of Public Theology.

Both organisations behind Ethos have pedigree: a wealth of experience and a history of commitment to exploring and promoting Christian ethical engagement with the world beyond Sunday’s sometimes cloistered walls into the Monday world where God’s scattered people engage everyday life: work, leisure, politics, environment.

EA established a Public Theology Department in 2004, with Brian Edgar serving as the pioneer director, ably succeeded by Ian Packer. It was highly valued by pastors, academics and church members for its judicious commentary on contemporary issues. The Public Theology Department was superseded by Ethos which has enhanced its empowering of EA members to engage a new era of ethical challenges.

The Zadok Institute for Christianity and Society was an independent organisation whose mission was to promote informed theological reflection and debate, especially by lay people, on contemporary Australian issues. Founded in 1976 soon after the Whitlam-era ferment, Zadok brought an applied spirituality and worldview into personal, professional and public life for its large national network. Ethos has continued to publish Zadok Perspectives and Papers and organise conferences and other events.

Yet Ethos is more than merely the sum of its parts, and more than a knee-jerk reaction to the latest media sound bites. Ethos is a network of outstanding Christian thinkers and activists committed to ongoing, in-depth analysis of critical issues such as climate change, human rights, bio-ethics and sexual ethics, indigenous rights and business ethics. Ethos is especially committed to empowering Christian professionals to profess their faith publicly by word and deed. In doing so we demonstrate the relevance and distinctiveness of the public life of the Christian community, discerning and debating in a spirit of reconciliation. This points beyond the common party-political spirit of church and world to the divine politics of God’s peaceable Kingdom. To paraphrase Jacques Ellul, it is in disagreeing robustly but respectfully about penultimate things that Christians point most effectively to the ultimate. We look forward to your contributions to this Kingdom-building process.

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