Public discussion of Christian faith is increasingly rare in Australia, even while religion is increasingly seen as an important influence in politics and public life. During recent years Christianity in many parts of the West has come to be seen as a spent force – what is often described as a “post-Christian era.” In Australian politics and social life what little Christian voice is heard on public issues is usually dismissed as empty moralising or defensive posturing – often justifiably. This has led the Christian conscience to an increasingly narrow focus on key issues that serve more as identity markers than intelligent contributions to public discourse. There is a need to bridge this gap.
Thoughtful. Faith. Seeks to organise events that create a platform for engaging contemporary public and political issues with thoughtful reflections on faith and belief. The aim is to revitalise conversations around this theme. And to enable people of Christian faith and people of diverse beliefs to more thoughtfully carry these into their lives.
These events will welcome prominent thinkers with diverse views on faith and issues in contemporary public life. They will also seek to create a community that wishes to pursue a deeper understanding and articulation of Christian faith and non-Christian belief: what the Uniting Church in Australia’s (UCA) Basis of Union might call “scholarly interpreters.” This project seeks to contribute to the Basis of Union’s conviction of standing “in relation to contemporary societies in ways which help [the Church] to understand her own nature and mission.” (Basis of Union §11)