Religion – The Centre for Independent Studies


In this related area of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program we investigates the implications of a liberal understanding of freedom for religion in civil society. We also seek to analyse the extent and nature of religion as a form of social capital in the public sphere.

Anti-Semitism and religious hatred in Australia have been recent topics of research, along with broader questions as to the meaning and value of religion in Australia.


Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down Australians
Monica Wilkie
09 December 2020 | AP18

The government response to COVID-19 has imposed restrictions on Australians unseen in peacetime. As Australians approach nearly a year of living under varying coronavirus restrictions it is timely to analyse governments response to COVID-19. Victims of failure – how the COVID-19 policy response let down…

Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic…

Rights, Morals, Dignity: Why defending religious freedom matters
Peter Kurti
10 April 2020 | OP173

Calls for protections of rights are often made without much reflection on what it is, exactly, that needs protecting. In this Occasional Paper, Peter Kurti argues that behind any claim about rights lies a moral claim, and that this claim is essentially about human dignity.…

Respect and division: How Australians view religion
Monica Wilkie, Robert Forsyth
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 1000 Australians, with the data…

Toxic Mutation of an Ancient Hatred: Left-Wing Antisemitism
Peter Kurti
13 November 2019 | PP25

Antisemitism is on the rise in many Western countries. On the postmodern left, this ancient hatred is often expressed as anti-Zionism which claims to be opposed to racism and colonialism. Yet because anti-Zionist discourse is an attack on the right of the State of Israel even…

Media & Commentary

Victoria's anti-belief law will face many obstacles
Peter Kurti
17 January 2021 | CANBERRA TIMES

In an extraordinary act of authoritarian over-reach, the Victorian Government is intent upon regulating private prayer by monitoring who prays for whom, with whom, and to whom, about issues concerning…

What a weary world needs is to rejoice in the four Christmases
Robert Forsyth

Oddly enough, it was a Bunnings television advertisement that said it best: “Everyone is looking forward to Christmas more this year than any other year.” Indeed, after the 2020 we…

Religious freedom unforgotten
Robert Forsyth, Peter Kurti
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,…

Coronavirus response: the great self-destruction
Robert Carling
28 April 2020 | Canberra Times

If you want to know how much the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic might cost, the International Monetary Fund’s recent world economic outlook is a good place to start. Not that any…

Tracking a pandemic: an unacceptable invasion of privacy
Monica Wilkie
16 April 2020 | Spectator

The federal government’s plan to use a voluntary tracking app to monitor our movements – in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus – is an unacceptable invasion of privacy. The…