Robert Forsyth

Senior Fellow

Robert Forsyth

The Right Reverend Robert Forsyth was the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, a region of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, from 2000 to 2015. Before this he was the rector of St. Barnabas, Broadway and chaplain to the University of Sydney. Robert gave the 2001 Acton Lecture Dangerous Protections: How some ways of protecting the freedom of religion may actually diminish religious freedom and has been awarded the Alan MacGregor Fellowship at Consilium in 2010.  Robert has been extensively involved in the areas of religious freedom and public policy.


Featured Publication

  • A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom 31 July 2018 | PP8
    Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the…...
    Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the…
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Media & Commentary

  • ‘Harm' getting out of hand 28 June 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    No one likes to harm others. But today the call to ‘avoid harm’ is getting out of hand. And more often than not, begs the question. Back in the nineteenth century, John Stuart Mill saw the of prevention of harm…
    No one likes to harm others. But today the call to ‘avoid harm’ is getting out of hand. And more often than not, begs the question. Back in the nineteenth century, John Stuart Mill saw the of prevention of harm…
    read more
  • Freedom’s just another word, so don’t take it for granted 14 March 2019 | Spectator
    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” So sang Janis Joplin in her 1971 hit Me and Bobby McGee. And this week I realised she was right. It came home for me as I edited one of the contributions…
    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” So sang Janis Joplin in her 1971 hit Me and Bobby McGee. And this week I realised she was right. It came home for me as I edited one of the contributions…
    read more
  • Freedom’s just another word . . . 08 March 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” So sang Janis Joplin in the 1970s song Me and Bobby McGee. And this week I realised she was right. It came home for me as I edited one of the…
    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” So sang Janis Joplin in the 1970s song Me and Bobby McGee. And this week I realised she was right. It came home for me as I edited one of the…
    read more
  • 4 things I learned last week 01 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    I learned four important — but somewhat dispiriting — things while taking part in the ABC Radio National’s God Forbid discussion of religious freedom last week. (I was joined by two fine academic lawyers – an atheist from Melbourne and…
    I learned four important — but somewhat dispiriting — things while taking part in the ABC Radio National’s God Forbid discussion of religious freedom last week. (I was joined by two fine academic lawyers – an atheist from Melbourne and…
    read more
  • The Weaponising of Victimhood and Grievance 15 December 2018 | Quadrant
    A gulf is opening in our society. On one side is the majority, genuinely tolerant of different styles of living and loving. On the other, a ‘progressive’ minority determined to take offence at slights more perceived than real and use…
    A gulf is opening in our society. On one side is the majority, genuinely tolerant of different styles of living and loving. On the other, a ‘progressive’ minority determined to take offence at slights more perceived than real and use…
    read more

Publications

  • A Quartet of Freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association and Conscience 16 October 2014 | OP135
    Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, gives high prominence to freedom of religion. But religious freedom is under threat in Australia. An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations, is putting religious believers under pressure to be silent in the public square. It is…...
    Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, gives high prominence to freedom of religion. But religious freedom is under threat in Australia. An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations, is putting religious believers under pressure to be silent in the public square. It is…
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  • Catholic Resistance to German State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia 30 May 2014 | OP134
    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary contribution to education, charitable relief, the running of hospitals, and the alleviation of social disadvantage. What has given rise to this new sectarianism and what are its likely consequences for contemporary Australian society?…...
    Anti-Catholic sectarianism is on the rise in Australian society even though Australian Catholicism has made an extraordinary contribution to education, charitable relief, the running of hospitals, and the alleviation of social disadvantage. What has given rise to this new sectarianism and what are its likely consequences for contemporary Australian society?…
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  • Dangerous Protections: How Some Ways of Protecting the Freedom of Religion May Actually Diminish Religious Freedom. 24 September 2001 | OP78
    The 2001 Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom delivered by Robert Forsyth.  Sometimes efforts to achieve good can backfire, especially where government legislation is concerned.              
    The 2001 Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom delivered by Robert Forsyth.  Sometimes efforts to achieve good can backfire, especially where government legislation is concerned.              
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