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 McGregor Fellowship at Consilium in 2010.  Robert has been extensively involved in the areas of religious freedom and public policy.


Watch Rob in action:


Featured Publication

  • Respect and division: How Australians view religion 02 December 2019 | PP27
    Religious tolerance is vital for a well-functioning secular democracy. The ability to tolerate even undesirable ideas ensures harmony. In order to determine the attitudes of Australians towards religion, the Centre for Independent Studies commissioned YouGov Galaxy to poll more than…...
    Religious tolerance is vital for a well-functioning secular democracy. The ability to tolerate even undesirable ideas ensures harmony. In order to determine the attitudes of Australians towards religion, the Centre for Independent Studies commissioned YouGov Galaxy to poll more than…
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Media & Commentary

  • Zooming platoons 11 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre
    The increased role of government has been the main focus during the pandemic. And for good reason. You don’t have to believe that big government is the solution to every problem to understand that it can at times be a…
    The increased role of government has been the main focus during the pandemic. And for good reason. You don’t have to believe that big government is the solution to every problem to understand that it can at times be a…
    read more
  • Religious freedom unforgotten 30 April 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre
    One of the many things now in pandemic lockdown is the ongoing discussion about religious freedom in Australia. It may be quite a while before it is let out.  However, religious communities are still flourishing. Buildings may be closed but…
    One of the many things now in pandemic lockdown is the ongoing discussion about religious freedom in Australia. It may be quite a while before it is let out.  However, religious communities are still flourishing. Buildings may be closed but…
    read more
  • Amid this pestilence, listen to Easter's revolutionary message 08 April 2020 | Australian Financial Review
    Easter and the coronavirus have at least one thing in common. Both are in their own ways strange and unexpected. It is hard to realise how shocking the claim of the first Easter would have sounded at the time. As…
    Easter and the coronavirus have at least one thing in common. Both are in their own ways strange and unexpected. It is hard to realise how shocking the claim of the first Easter would have sounded at the time. As…
    read more
  • Season to humbly engage with community 22 December 2019 | The Canberra Times
    Australia is ending 2019 in anything but a relaxed and comfortable state. For us, Christmas can’t come early enough. We seem to be not quite ourselves. It’s been quite an anxious, shrill and divisive year, and some time to focus…
    Australia is ending 2019 in anything but a relaxed and comfortable state. For us, Christmas can’t come early enough. We seem to be not quite ourselves. It’s been quite an anxious, shrill and divisive year, and some time to focus…
    read more
  • ‘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…
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Publications

  • 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 views and practices of religious believers conflict with secular norms.…...
    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 views and practices of religious believers conflict with secular norms.…
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  • 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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