Acton Lecture 2017: Civic Virtues and the Politics of ‘Full Drift Ahead’

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 political and even private moralities became so relativistic and what, in anything, could be offered as an alternative?

Law professor, cultural observer and theorist on religion and pluralism, Prof Iain Benson, will offer some insights and guidance on steps he argues are essential for education, justice and politics in our time.

Professor Iain Benson has been involved in many of the leading cases on rights of association, conscience and religion in Canada and other countries for two decades and acted for a wide variety of individuals and groups as legal counsel before all levels of court. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Constitutional Court of South Africa have cited his work. His scholarly work is referred to in many books and articles and he is listed in Canada’s Who’s Who. Prof Benson was one of the drafters of the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (signed by all major religions in that country in 2010) and remains closely involved in advancing the Charter in that country and similar projects elsewhere.

His international work means he divides his time between France, Canada, South Africa and now Australia.