All Acton Lectures

2017 Acton Lecture: Civic Virtues and the Politics of ‘Full Drift Ahead’
04 May 2017 6:00PM
The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia

2017 Acton Lecture on Religion and Civil Society Today almost everyone affirms the importance of ‘values’ but few would insist these are shared moral essentials.  How is it that the most common term of our…

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Acton Lecture - Rediscovering Humility: Religious Freedom in a 21st Century Pluralist Society
14 November 2016 5:45PM
The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney, Australia

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO MONDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2016 Religious liberty is central to the Australian way of life. It is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. But it is not the only freedom that matters. There…

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Should Bakers be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings? - Archbishop Fisher OP
14 October 2015 6:00PM
The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney, Australia

PLEASE NOTE NEW VENUE FOR THE 2015 ACTON LECTURE  The 2015 Acton Lecture Should a Baker be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings: Democracy and the Rights and Limits of Religion and Conscience…

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Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia - Hon. Dyson Heydon AC QC
12 March 2014 6:00PM
Banco Court, Supreme Court of NSW, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney, Australia

The CIS is delighted to announce this year’s Acton Lecturer. Former High Court Judge the Hon. John Dyson Heydon AC QC will present his address on Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern…

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What Kind of Religion Is Free in the Public Square? A Warning From the States - Dr. Ryan Messmore
27 September 2012 12:00PM
Mary MacKillop Place, 7-11 Mount St, Sydney, Australia

Is it possible that today’s public square will only tolerate weaker, more marginal forms of religion? Is public religion relevant? If so, what might the implications be for government and social institutions?

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Religion & Politics in Zimbabwe - Senator David Coltart
10 June 2011 12:00PM
Parliament House, Parliament of NSW, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia

This year’s Annual Acton Lecture on Religion & Freedom will be delivered by prominent Zimbabwean politician, human rights lawyer, and pro-democracy activist, David Coltart.

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Constitutional Conservatism - Dr Peter Berkowitz
16 June 2010 12:00PM
Macquarie Group Ltd Auditorium, 1 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia

The annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom with Dr Peter Berkowitz will examine how social conservatives who embrace traditional religion and economic conservatives can be reconciled.

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Must Religion Be a Threat to Liberty? - Father Robert Sirico
14 May 2008 6:00PM
Customs House Sydney, , , Unknown

Does Christianity destroy or defend freedom? Answering this question, Fr Robert A. Sirico turns to the foundations of Christianity.  Beginning with Jesus’s instruction to ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is…

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Do Secular Societies Promote Religious Extremism? - Professor Tom Frame
10 December 2007 12:00AM
The Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, Australia

In looking at secularism in society, Tom Frame concludes that in a genuinely secular society all must recognise and respect the opinions of those with whom they disagree. They must accept that both the religious…

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Religion and Politics: Contemporary Tensions - Paul Kelly
06 September 2006 6:50PM
The Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, Australia

Kelly argues that God is making a comeback. But there are lessons to be heeded.  One, the churches and Islam in particular need to be mindful not to infringe the limits that exist on religious…

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CHRISTIAN POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT - TIME TO GO GLOBAL - Jim Wallace
23 November 2005 12:00PM
Macquarie Group Ltd Auditorium, 1 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia

Jim Wallace argues that while there is still a requirement to consolidate Christian influence on the Australian political scene, there is a pressing need for a broader global vision. The new world order of information highways…

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Rendering unto Caesar: New Challenges for Church and State - Dr Samuel Gregg
28 August 2005 6:00PM
The Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, Australia

At the heart of liberty is religious liberty. Respecting religious belief usually necessitates a sphere of freedom for individuals and communities immune from state control, unless it is willing to become tyrannical. Gregg proposes that…

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Christian Morality and Market Capitalism: Friends or Foes - Professor Ian Harper
14 October 2003 8:00AM
The Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, Australia

In the 5th Annual CIS Acton Lecture on Religion & Freedom, Ian Harper explores the moral basis of market capitalism––its strengths and weaknesses––and defends the view that there is nothing morally suspect about market capitalism…

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Islam in Pluralist Indonesia - Mohammah Fajrul Falaakh
14 May 2002 6:00PM
ABN AMRO Sydney, , , Unknown

In this Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom for 2002, noted Indonesian academic Mohammad Fajrul Falaakh discusses the importance and interpretations of Shariah (Islamic law) and asks whether Islam and secularism can co-exist in a pluralist…

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Dangerous Protections: How Some Ways of Protecting the Freedom of Religion May Actually Diminish Religious Freedom - Rev Robert Forsyth
30 May 2001 12:00PM
The Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, Australia

Sometimes efforts to achieve good can backfire, especially where government legislation is concerned.

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The Moral Foundations of Freedom - George Weigel
30 May 2000 12:00PM
The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie St, Sydney, Australia

What happens when a society loses it moral capital? Can democracy thrive in a value-neutral environment? These are just some of the questions asked by one of America’s most respected theologians and commentators on religion…

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Catholicism and the Architecture of Freedom - Archbishop George Pell
15 September 1999 3:20PM
Customs House Sydney, , , Unknown

The nature of freedom is a question that has puzzled western societies from their very beginnings. In the Centre for Independent Studies’ inaugural Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom, George Pell asks hard questions about…

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