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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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Representing Jesus

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 81.3 KB

Ian Barns discusses the Christian understanding of a secular societydownload pdf


New Assessment of the Lockhart Review

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 111.8 KB

An assessment of the Lockhart Committee Review on embryo experimentation recognises the benefits of stem cell research, but argues that the Report errs in finding that the value of the human embryo is to be derived from the intention of the clinician. The assessment also includes a much broader analysis of the parameters of the whole notion of the significance of a technological approach to human lifedownload pdf


Fiction and History in the Da Vinci Code

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 41.4 KB

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Nurturing Justice 7 (2010) September 20th

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 0.0 KB

Nurturing Justice 7 has been revised in response to the announcement of the Prime Minister of the opportunity of a conscience vote on the matter that is raised by the Federal Government's blocking of "voluntary euthanasia" laws in the territories and states. It is further evidence of the urgent need to "nurture justice" in our own thinking about how we "do politics". How do we understand the nature and limits of party discipline, conscience votes, the representative's loyalty to electors as well as the elector's ongoing trust in our political pdf


Faith and Community 1-09 (February 2009) now on-line

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 331.3 KB

Click the title to download the latest Faith and Community. If you would like to be notified of new editions of Faith and Community or Engage.mail, please email Ian Packer at This issue contains Australian reflections on 'prophecy and politics' and the 'Evangelical Manifesto.'download pdf


A National Agenda for Religious Freedom

Sunday, 6 May 2012 | 325.9 KB

A paper by Professor Patrick Parkinson, University of Sydney. "People of faith have numerous concerns about threats to religious freedom in Australia, both at state and federal levels, deriving from an attitude of hostility towards religious belief, morals and practice among some in the Australian population. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. It is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international instruments in the clearest and strongest terms."download pdf


Jesus for Prime Minister?

Friday, 20 August 2010 | 91.1 KB

Jarrod McKenna of World Vision and EPYC on 'the politics of Jesus'download pdf


Vote of Confidence? Problems with the Election Process and Christian Electoral Propaganda

Friday, 20 August 2010 | 147.3 KB

Gordon Preece reflects upon the election campaign and process along with critique of some Christian responsesdownload pdf


Why I Don't Vote

Wednesday, 18 August 2010 | 50.5 KB

*NEW* Simon Moyle explains why he does not votedownload pdf


The Climate Gap

Thursday, 20 May 2010 | 132.5 KB

Brian Edgar interacts with the recently released Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and reviews a number of key 'gaps' with regard to the world's greatest environmental issue": the Emissions Gap, the Effect Gap, the Growth Gap, the Moral Gap, the Policy Gap, the Language Gap, and the Opportunity pdf


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