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Religious Perspectives on Human Rights

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

In 2019, the Centre for Religion and Social Policy at the University of Divinity (now the Religion and Social Policy Network) hosted a Religious Perspectives on Human Rights roundtable. Here we are publishing the papers from that conversation. These papers will also appear in the Spring 2020 issue of Zadok.

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The Israel Folau ‘Controversy’: A Study in Corporate Censorship and Capitalist Hypocrisy

Monday, 24 February 2020
 | Brendan Byrne

In the midst of the ‘Israel Folau controversy’, there is a much larger and much more dangerous issue going unnoticed: the extent to which corporate and institutional prerogatives have invaded and occupied the whole sphere of human life. This danger is being disguised under the trappings of ‘corporate social responsibility’, but in reality exploits social tensions for commercial self-interest.

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Religious Freedom, Love and Diversity

Wednesday, 7 August 2019
 | Jon Eastgate

In the debate around same-sex marriage and religious freedom, it’s easy to become defensive in this environment and to try to place protections around ourselves. Three widely publicised cases raise the question: are we prepared to grant others the rights we seek for ourselves? And how do our words and actions impact on others?

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God the Intimate Interventionist: a dialogue between Nick Cave and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, 26 July 2019
 | Gordon Preece

Nick Cave, the great Australian gothic rock artist, writes songs that are God-bothering and bothered. But his line ‘I don’t believe in an interventionist God’ - along with REM’s ‘Losing my Religion’ - has been misunderstood by Christians and atheists alike.

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Friedrich Nietzsche and the ‘death of God’

Thursday, 21 June 2018
 | Rex Dale

Nietzsche argued that, if God was dead, then our morals and value system would require a rigorous reordering. Nietzsche’s thinking was shaped, among other things, by the early death of his father, a Christian minister. But what finally tipped Nietzsche over the edge, leading him to assail Christianity in such contemptuous terms?

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Religious Freedom and Neighbourly Love

Thursday, 17 May 2018
 | Emma Wood

During the 2017 same-sex marriage debate, many Christians were concerned about the impact of potential changes on religious freedom. While some saw this as an annoying and unloving distraction from the real issue, the concern about religious freedom often arises from a desire for the wellbeing of others and the welfare of our society.

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Forgiveness after evil: is it possible?

Friday, 27 April 2018
 | John Steward

Forgiveness is the heart of our faith. In Rwanda I learnt what true forgiveness means: inviting the offender to choose justice that is restorative, not punitive; and towards healing and the possibility of reconciliation – the point where two enemies may face each other and meet in the middle.

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Resisting Evil: An Apocalyptic Model

Friday, 23 March 2018
 | Robyn Whitaker

The Book of Revelation reminds us that evil is an ancient, communal, systematic force found primarily in unjust institutions, both secular and religious. As disciples of Christ, we need to discern, name and expose evil. We cannot spiritually worship on Sunday while ignoring injustice, nor can we be social justice advocates without witness to and worship of God.

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Civilisation on Trial: Prospects for Sustainable Prosperity and Global Equality

Monday, 5 February 2018
 | Ross Garnaut

We have discovered that the cost of alternative energy is, in the end, lower than the cost of traditional energy. But will we have the policies that support the rapid introduction of the technology that will ensure economic growth that is consistent with climate stability? The technologies are there and the policies are available, but established interests are resisting that change.

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Demand for prostitution is not inevitable

Monday, 11 December 2017
 | Andrea Tokaji

The gravest human right violation in our world today is slavery – and the most abhorrent form of slavery is sexual exploitation. If Australia is serious about eradicating modern day slavery and ending the exploitation of women in prostitution, it should adopt the Nordic model of removing criminal sanctions for all those who are bought and sold for sex, and support criminal sanctions for those who buy and sell others for sex.

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Walking Backwards Down the Stairs Trying to Get Higher: Evangelical Christians and Election 2016

Monday, 5 June 2017 | 83.8 KB

While white evangelical turnout is a storyline in the 2016 Presidential election, it did not provide Trump the margin he needed to win. This credit goes to the voting bloc of white, blue-collar, largely Catholic voters, argues Dale S. pdf


Lonely Like America: Reflections on Donald Trump's First 100 Days

Saturday, 29 April 2017 | 139.5 KB

After 100 days, we have greater clarity about how Trump will govern and the mood of the country he is governing. In Donald Trump we see a man who is lonely like America, writes Dale S. pdf


Proposed changes to Section 18C

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 | 51.0 KB

The government’s recently proposed changes to Section 18C are a welcome development, writes Scott Buchanan. But this is just one of several debates around principles and philosophy from which the Coalition has tried to run, or on which it has remained frustratingly silent. And, by grounding so much of its resistance in spurious arguments, it has undermined its own political and philosophical pdf


Paying Attention to God: Liturgy in Consumer Culture

Monday, 4 April 2016 | 118.0 KB

Richard Glover argues that consumerism is a form of spirituality in which we make meaning, create identities, and participate in communities through acts of consumption. Consumerism has its own liturgical forms which shape our beliefs, actions and loves. How, then, might the spiritual disciplines of prayer and hearing God’s Word as shaped by Christian liturgies be a spiritual alternative to consumerism? download pdf


Same Sex Relationships and the Law

Sunday, 13 May 2012 | 105.2 KB

This paper was prepared by Dr Brian Edgar, formerly EA’s Director of Public Theology, in the light of the Christian responsibility to uphold both a Biblical view of marriage and a Biblical view of justice for all. It theologically evaluates the appropriateness of re-defining marriage or allowing civil unions (both deemed inappropriate) and of relationship registers which do not mimic marriage (reckoned to be one possibility out of several).download pdf


‘In the World’ But ‘Not Of the World’: Holiness, Citizenship and the Theme of 'Exile'

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 82.2 KB

Ian Packer reflects on the tension that Christians experience between the call to discipleship and the norms and pressures of the day-to-day world in which that discipleship must be lived out; with a focus on what we think politics is all pdf


2020 Summit - A Reflection

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 68.2 KB

Deborah Storie reflects upon her experience of the 2020 Summit and the extent to which change is needed in the face of our fraught histories and the complex challenges to social, ecological and individual pdf


The Gospel as Public Truth

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 26.7 KB

Brian Edgar on the value, and the dangers of ‘public theology’download pdf


The Status of Marital Status

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 79.7 KB

This paper, by Dr David Phillips, National President of the Festival of Light Australia also strongly defends the unique status of marriage. But it also takes a different point of view on certain matters. It critiques Dr Edgar’s paper and argues, amongst other things, that relationship registers establish an inappropriate, quasi-marital status for same-sex pdf


A Multicultural Vision for the Church

Monday, 7 May 2012 | 31.7 KB

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