“Faith and the Political”

The theme is to be interpreted broadly and from the disciplines of philosophy, theology, history, social science, literature and the arts. Topics that might be investigated include: scandal in/of Christianity; structures of belief and opinion; secularisation, fundamentalism and inculturation; politics in the Bible and the Bible in politics; religion in the public forum; Christian ethics in a liberal democracy; liberation and equality.

The conference specifically aims to foster interaction between scholars in the universities and scholars in theological colleges. It also encourages young scholars.


Keynote Speaker: Peter Forrest: The Epistemology of Scandal

'How can you continue to believe in the face of scandals?'. This question is not, I submit, merely a manifestation of the ad hominem fallacy exemplified by, "How can you take Frege seriously when he was a bigot?' Nor can it be dismissed by noting that the reality of sin is a central Christian doctrine. I argue that 'right reason' requires not merely the rational assessment of doctrines but a way of deciding which doctrines to assess. Scandal undermines the appeal to authority when assessing but not the reliance on traditions when deciding what to assess. As a consequence, scandal tends to undermine 'simple faith' and mandates the, not necessarily academic, philosophical reflection on faith.

Friday 3rd till Sunday 5th October 2014

Catholic Institute of Sydney, 99 Albert Rd, Strathfield NSW 2135


Convenors: Stephen Buckle (ACU), William Emilsen (UTC/CSU), Peter Forrest (UNE),
John McDowell (Newcastle), Shane Mackinlay (CTC/UDiv), Andrew Murray (CIS/SCD)

The proceedings of the 2008 Biennial Conference are available in PDF format.
Right click here to download:
God, Freedom and Nature

For further details, contact Andrew Murray at Catholic Institute of Sydney, 99 Albert Road, Strathfield, NSW 2135,
Australia. Ph: +612 9752 9514;
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