Religion and Civil Society

The Centre for Independent Studies’ Religion and Civil Society program investigates the implications of a liberal understanding of freedom for religion in civil society.

We 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.

Publications

A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom
Robert Forsyth
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…

Millennials and socialism: Australian youth are lurching to the left
Tom Switzer, Charles Jacobs
20 June 2018 | PP7

The 20th century’s failed experimentations with socialism serve as a strong lesson that, despite its idealistic promises of equality, the ideology has led to nothing but oppression and poverty. However Australian Millennials have remained relatively unaffected by socialism’s shortcomings. The oldest were aged only nine…

Without Fear or Favour: Practising your Faith and your Profession
Debra Mullins
20 June 2018 | OP165

The adequacy of religious freedom protections in Australia has been now reviewed by the Ruddock Inquiry established by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the same-sex postal survey in later 2017. By late June June 2018, however, the government had yet to release Ruddock’s findings. Nonetheless,…

A Shy Hope in the Mind: Secularisation and the Diversity of Australia’s Religious Economy
Peter Kurti
12 June 2018 | AP1

There are few facets of human society — whether political, social, or economic — that are untouched by the influence of religion. Yet those who oppose any appearance of religion in the Australian public square argue that it simply has no part to play in…

Reason, Repentance, and the Individual: Recovering the Religious Roots of Western Civilisation
Peter Kurti
23 November 2017 | OP160

Reason, repentance, and the individual are three of the principal roots of Western civilization. They are, moreover, roots that are set firmly in the rich soil of our Judeo-Christian heritage. But the danger is that as our commitment to that heritage weakens, so, too, does…

Media & Commentary

Killing sufferers kills the culture
Peter Kurti
09 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Until recently, assisting another person to commit suicide was an offence everywhere in Australia. Then in 2017, Victoria changed the law to make euthanasia and assisted suicide legal. Western Australia…

Sex vs gender: down the slippery linguistic slope
Monica Wilkie
02 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Public discourse is filled with euphemistic language that can make difficult topics more palatable. However, euphemisms can also create more confusion than clarity when the meanings of words become blurred.…

Anglican bans align with beliefs
Peter Kurti
26 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Sydney Anglican Diocese has provoked controversy by proposing a policy to ensure that all church property is used in ways consistent with Anglican church teaching. The proposal vetoed activities…

Religious freedom: the decision lies with us
Peter Kurti
21 October 2018 | The Newcastle Herald

Leaked details from the Ruddock Inquiry into religious freedom have led some critics to baselessly whip up fears that gay pupils are in imminent danger of being expelled from religious…

Schools must retain hiring rights
Robert Forsyth
19 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

In the hasty and overheated reaction to the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review, pressure is building to remove the rights of religious schools to discriminate against teachers, not just students,…

Subscribe to CIS

Contact Details