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Peter Kurti

Research Fellow, Religion and Civil Society Program

kurti-peterThe Reverend Peter Kurti is a Research Fellow co-ordinating the Religion and Civil Society program at the Centre for Independent Studies. The program examines the implications of a liberal approach to religion in civil society and investigates the capacity of that society to maintain freedom for expression of religious values. It does not discuss issues of discipline, dogma or organization.

Peter is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church and has worked in England and Australia. His experience includes ministry with inner-city and suburban congregations as well as in the university sector where he also taught. Before joining the CIS Peter had been Rector of Saint James’, King Street in Sydney for eight years. He trained for the ministry in England and the United States, and has degrees in law, theology, and philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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Publications by Author

  1. No Ordinary Garment: The Burqa and the Pursuit of Tolerance

    Peter Kurti | 01 Jun 2015 | Research Reports

    Individuals in a liberal society should enjoy the fundamental right to live in obedience to any religion of their choosing.... Read More...

  2. SYMPOSIUM: Books of the Year 2014

    Benjamin Herscovitch, Jennifer Buckingham, Jenny Lindsay, Karla Pincott, Peter Kurti, Trisha Jha | 20 Jan 2015 | POLICY Magazine

    The staff of the Centre for Independent Studies list the best books they read in the past year.

  3. BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Belonging: It’s Not Where You Live, It’s How You Live

    Peter Kurti | 20 Jan 2015 | POLICY Magazine

    By Hugh Mackay Reviewed by Peter Kurti

  4. A Quartet of Freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association and Conscience

    Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti, Robert Forsyth | 16 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations in Australia, is putting... Read More...

  5. The Forgotten Freedom: Threats to Religious Liberty in Australia

    Peter Kurti | 01 Jul 2014 | Policy Monographs

    When religious followers try to express their beliefs about topics such as same-sex marriage, they are frequently met with... Read More...

  6. Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia

    Dyson Heydon, Peter Kurti, Robert Forsyth | 30 May 2014 | Occasional Papers

    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary... Read More...

  7. Multiculturalism and the Fetish of Diversity

    Peter Kurti | 10 Dec 2013 | Policy Monographs

    Multiculturalism began as a response to the White Australia policy and continues to enjoy public support. But a new, ‘hard’... Read More...

  8. BOOK REVIEW: Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From: Why Multiculturalism Works

    Peter Kurti | 29 Nov 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From: Why Multiculturalism WorksBy Tim Soutphommasane

  9. BOOK REVIEW: The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-war Immigration

    Peter Kurti | 29 Nov 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-war ImmigrationBy David Goodhart

  10. In the Pay of the Piper: Governments, Not-for-Profits, and the Burden of Regulation

    Peter Kurti | 23 Apr 2013 | Issue Analysis

    Reforms intended to boost confidence in Australian charities risk turning the charitable sector into just another arm of... Read More...

  11. Moral Wisdom and the Recovery of Virtue

    Peter Kurti | 06 Feb 2013 | Occasional Papers

    What are the moral skills we need to cultivate to live effectively in the social media world of the twenty-first century... Read More...

  12. BOOK REVIEW: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010

    Peter Kurti | 10 Dec 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 By Charles Murray

  13. After the Riot: the Meaning for Multicultural Australia

    Benjamin Herscovitch, Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti | 11 Oct 2012 | Issue Analysis

    The riot on 15 September in the Sydney CBD by Muslim protestors has raised questions about the health of Australian multiculturalism.... Read More...

  14. What’s New with Anti-Semitism?

    Paul Kelly, Peter Kurti, Philip Mendes | 13 Aug 2012 | Policy Forum

    Criticism of Israeli government domestic policy has intensified in Australia with the emergence of the international Boycott,... Read More...

  15. REVIEW ESSAY: A Short History of Christianity

    Peter Kurti | 18 Apr 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    A Short History of Christianity.

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. Queering their pitch

    Peter Kurti | 17 Jul 2015 | The Spectator

    In the wake of the Irish referendum in May and the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v Hodges,... Read More

  2. There’s more to the burka than a choice of attire

    Peter Kurti | 03 Jul 2015 | The Australian

    National measures announced by the Abbott government in the past month, along with comments this week by the Prime Minister... Read More

  3. My church is wrong to think coal is evil

    Peter Kurti | 01 Jul 2015 | The Daily Telegraph

    FEARFUL of falling out of step with the fashionable morality of other churches, Sydney Anglican diocese’s investment arm,... Read More

  4. Islamic relations: The victim mentality will not help Muslim cause

    Peter Kurti | 15 Jun 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    What is required on the part of Muslim and non-Muslim Australians alike is a new attitude to combatting the problem of Muslim... Read More

  5. Our churches have fallen in love with climate change

    Peter Kurti | 15 May 2015 | The Spectator

    The sharp, carbon-edged truth is that the churches are keen to adopt climate change as a cause to help them connect with... Read More

  6. It’s time to face up to the Muslim fault line

    Peter Kurti | 21 Apr 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    We were given a stark reminder on the weekend that our nation faces a growing threat to its security, when Victorian police... Read More

  7. Paying lip service to the Holocaust

    Peter Kurti | 21 Feb 2015 | The Spectator

    Founded in October 1945, the United Nations may think its mission was shaped by the horrors of Auschwitz, but it did not... Read More

  8. Yes, Paris atrocity was about religion

    Peter Kurti | 09 Jan 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    Let’s get one thing clear: if you offend Islamist extremists, they will set out to silence you. Kill you, if necessary.  

  9. Qantas fights religious freedom battle

    Peter Kurti | 06 Nov 2014 | Australasian Muslim Times

    Qantas isn’t just facing a commercial battle over business seats. It’s also facing a legal battle over religious freedom... Read More

  10. Secular prejudice and the survival of religious freedom

    Peter Kurti | 01 Nov 2014 | Quadrant

    In a recent speech on religious liberty delivered at the Law School of the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, the Attorney-General,... Read More

  11. Environmental journey to a fiery destination

    Peter Kurti | 29 Oct 2014

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately the Anglican Church of Australia seems to have set... Read More

  12. Comment: Human right to the dole is nonsense

    Peter Kurti | 02 Oct 2014 | Daily Telegraph

    These days any political, social or economic problem is quickly cast as a human rights issue. 

  13. Tolerance squeezing out conviction

    Peter Kurti | 10 Jul 2014 | On Line Opinion

    Australian courts look to be taking a more restrictive view of religious liberty as they seek to strike a balance.

  14. Right to religious freedoms can play havoc with new laws

    Peter Kurti | 04 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    The US Supreme Court has reignited debate in America about the fundamental human right to freedom of religion.

  15. Don’t let freedom of religion become a dangerous idea

    Peter Kurti | 01 Jul 2014 | The Daily Telegraph

    Sometimes it is freedom of religion that needs to be protected from undue interference and restriction by the state.

  16. Don’t expel God from our children’s classrooms

    Peter Kurti | 28 Feb 2014 | The Daily Telegraph

    We have a duty to teach our children about religion so they will be better equipped to respond when religion turns bad.

  17. Beseech God And Fear The Greens

    Peter Kurti | 08 Feb 2014 | Quadrant Online

    The Australian Greens are gunning for God. They want the Lord’s Prayer dumped from the opening of the federal parliament’s... Read More

  18. Time to end the fetish of diversity

    Peter Kurti | 16 Dec 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    The debate about hard multiculturalism is about the weight it is deemed appropriate to afford cultures other than the prevailing... Read More

  19. Multiculture melting pot threatened by hardliners

    Peter Kurti | 12 Dec 2013 | The Daily Telegraph

    Australia does not need a Multicultural Act. A stable framework of laws and institutions guarantees the freedom of the individual.

  20. $haria Law

    Peter Kurti | 15 Nov 2013 | Quadrant Online

    If sukuk bonds go mainstream, as is poised to happen in Britain with David Cameron's blessing, the way will be open for the... Read More

  21. Big Brother deters charity

    Peter Kurti | 26 Apr 2013 | The Australian

    Reforms intended to boost confidence in Australian charities risk turning the charitable sector into just another arm of... Read More

  22. Anti-Israel campaign is more than just a boycott

    Peter Kurti | 17 Aug 2012 | The Australian

    Some groups in the West are trying to demonise the Jewish state over Palestine.

  23. When religion just won't do

    Peter Kurti | 03 Aug 2012 | The Spectator

    Why are so many climate enthusiasts all too often in the grip of apocalyptic mania?

  24. Honesty the best policy for those in government

    Peter Kurti | 12 May 2012 | The Australian

    "HONESTY is the first chapter in the book of wisdom," said Thomas Jefferson. Without honesty there is no trust. Without trust,... Read More

  25. Egged on to heed Easter

    Peter Kurti | 08 Apr 2012 | Herald Sun

    Chocolate has taken over the Easter message.

  26. Religious freedom must not be taken for granted

    Peter Kurti | 24 Feb 2012 | ABC Online

    The importance of religious belief is both derided and attacked in our public debates. Tony Abbott's Christian faith is often... Read More

  27. It's all a bit on the nose

    Peter Kurti | 16 Jan 2012 | The Drum Opinion

    Teaching and understanding the rules of civil society extends beyond new immigrants. Most Australians need a lesson too.

  28. It wouldn't be Christmas without Christianity

    Peter Kurti | 23 Dec 2011 | The Australian

    Without religion what is the meaning of Christmas?

  29. Does gay marriage prove marriage matters?

    Peter Kurti | 29 Sep 2011 | Online Opinion

    Gay couples dragging marriage back into vogue.

  30. Don’t gamble with people’s freedom

    Peter Kurti | 29 Sep 2011 | The Drum

    New Poker Machine laws are impeding people’s freedom

  31. Greens boycott is anti-Semitic

    Peter Kurti | 06 Sep 2011 | The Canberra Times

    Recently the Greens have refused to back a motion in the Senate condemning efforts by protesters from the anti-Israel Boycott,... Read More

  32. It's Anglicanism, Jim, but not as we know it

    Peter Kurti | 02 Sep 2011 | ABC Religion and Ethics

    If we think of individual churches as religious firms, then collectively they form a religious market

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. The church and fossil fuels

    Peter Kurti | 03 Jul 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Divestment from fossil fuels has become the moral weapon of choice in the armoury of ecclesiastical environmental activists... Read More

  2. Abbas no angel

    Peter Kurti | 22 May 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Leaders customarily exchange gifts when they meet formally. So it would have been odd had Pope Francis and Palestinian President... Read More

  3. Anti-Semitism is much older than Israel

    Peter Kurti | 06 Mar 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    ‘Harry Potter’ star Miriam Margolyes has form. Noted for her vehement anti-Israel views, the Jewish actress didn’t... Read More

  4. For and against - but standing for what?

    Peter Kurti | 16 Jan 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Amid the placards and pencils borne by the multitude in Paris, which principles were they professing to defend?

  5. Cuts being used as convenient pretext at ABC

    Peter Kurti | 05 Dec 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Placing religious programming in the cross-hairs of the ABC’s fiscal razor gang is too cute by half.

  6. Road to hellish environmental concern

    Peter Kurti | 31 Oct 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately the Anglican Church of Australia seems to have set... Read More

  7. There is no 'right' to help yourself to the taxes of others

    Peter Kurti | 03 Oct 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Political, social or economic problems are readily cast as human rights issue these days.

  8. Antisemitic abuse demands our leaders' condemnation

    Peter Kurti | 15 Aug 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Antisemitism is a scourge fuelled by bigotry, malice and hatred. All political leaders must condemn it unequivocally if their... Read More

  9. Freedom to believe must mean freedom to practice

    Peter Kurti | 04 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The right to religious liberty is not an absolute right and must always be balanced against other rights and freedoms enjoyed... Read More

  10. Taking religious freedom seriously

    Peter Kurti | 13 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    An international campaign urging the Sudanese government to free a young mother sentenced to death for converting to Christianity... Read More

  11. Equal under the law - and no exceptions

    Peter Kurti | 04 Apr 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Far from increasing social cohesion, identity politics makes living with difference harder.

  12. Healing our fractured families

    Peter Kurti | 14 Feb 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    As non-traditional family arrangements win broader social acceptance, there is an increasing reluctance to speak out about... Read More

  13. Hard multiculturalism's rise in Australia

    Peter Kurti | 13 Dec 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Hard multiculturalism questions the idea of a core national culture and threatens the success story of Australia’s harmonious... Read More

  14. We're less trusting and less welcoming; but we're still happy

    Peter Kurti | 25 Oct 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    A new social cohesion report shows trust levels in Australia are falling and we’re becoming less tolerant of others, which... Read More

  15. Wise saws and modern instances

    Peter Kurti | 16 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The mainstream media decided long ago that Tony Abbott is a misogynist.

  16. Playing the moral high ground on asylum seekers

    Peter Kurti | 26 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Politicians of any stripe who claim to establish the public face of policy by securing the Christian moral high ground will... Read More

  17. Absurd reaction to first Muslim frontbencher

    Peter Kurti | 05 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The anti-Islamic rants against Ed Husic this week were both absurd and inconsistent.

  18. Parliament must let charities speak out

    Peter Kurti | 21 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The proposed clarification of the law about the scope of charitable purpose is to be welcomed.

  19. Government stifles charities

    Peter Kurti | 26 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The federal government is stifling the creative chaos of private and voluntary action at the heart of charitable endeavour... Read More

  20. Pope Benedict’s legacy

    Peter Kurti | 22 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    What will Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy be characterised by?

  21. Time to stop the cycle of personal destruction

    Peter Kurti | 01 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    It’s time for government and opposition frontbenchers to assert their own ideas and political principles.

  22. Making the moral case for capitalism

    Peter Kurti | 23 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Popular conceptions of capitalism are tinged with images of indecency, rapaciousness and greed.

  23. No red line likely

    Peter Kurti | 09 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Faced now with a second-term Obama rather than a first-term Romney, Israelis must be wondering what the future holds for... Read More

  24. Restricting freedom is not the answer

    Peter Kurti | 21 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The majority of Australian Muslims want to live here in peace but a sizeable minority has a darker purpose.

  25. Preferential condemnation

    Peter Kurti | 02 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The international community fails to condemn Hamas for evicting 120 Palestinian families in Gaza from their homes.

  26. Invoking Jesus

    Peter Kurti | 13 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    No policy can be run through any single religious filter in a bid to infuse with it the characteristic of being a specifically... Read More

  27. Progressive hypocrisy on religion and the state

    Peter Kurti | 18 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Report questions common assumption that religious people are ideologically conservative.

  28. Aussies tell Dawkins: Live and let religion live

    Peter Kurti | 13 Apr 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Most Australians are comfortable with both the secular and the sacred sharing space in the national life.

  29. Lent for climate change?

    Peter Kurti | 24 Feb 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Making climate change a moral issue is dangerous.

  30. Thirst for knowledge

    Peter Kurti | 21 Oct 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    The choice of subjects of the record number of students sitting this year’s HSC reflects increasing interest in ancient... Read More

  31. Stick it to ‘em

    Peter Kurti | 12 Aug 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Society’s lack of a moral compass led to the London riots.

  32. Battery full? Save energy and remove charger from wall socket

    Peter Kurti | 08 Jul 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Religion seeks not so much to control as to strengthen communities by binding them to common sets of values, practices and... Read More