As readers will have seen in previous newsletters, SPC is very conscious that an election is approaching.Though a small group, we are planning public forums on the interaction between religion and social policies; the role of the churches in contributing to public policy debates; and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Through our website we have also been pursuing developments in disarmament negotiations and nuclear weapons, as well as environmental and indigenous issues.
We would like to do much more on a range of issues, including on poverty in Australia, housing, and overseas aid and development. Your contributions, ideas, writing, pro bono work and of course financial support would be most appreciated. Thanks to all already making SPC possible. How can we do better?
Photo: AndYaDontStop, flickr CC
God and the Natural Sciences
Presented by Dr Stephen Ames
Dr Stephen Ames is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science program. He will discuss the relationship between Science and Religion, particularly in reference to the views of the well known atheist, Richard Dawkins.
Wednesday June 23, 8pm
Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union,98 Albion Rd., Box Hill. Best entry via 34 Bedford St.
Click HERE for directions. Contacts: SPC: 0432 991 085,firstname.lastname@example.org; Entry by donation.
Photo: Courtesy jef safi, flickr CC
The new online forum for SPC
Join the conversation about social policies
Our new online forum has been launched and you are encouraged to make known your views on important social justice matters. This is a most welcome development for SPC and will enable us to connect more closely with members and their networks, and to foster debate on key social justice issues. This is a core mission objective for us, and we are keen to see the online forum become a lively vehicle for the sharing and shaping of opinions.
Click here to access our public forum.
SPC appoints its first Executive Officer: Audra Kunciunas
IIn a further step to developing our advocacy for public policies that more fully reflect Christian social values, SPC in May appointed Audra Kunciunas as its first Executive Officer. Audra who will begin working with SPC at the end of June, has extensive experience in marketing, publishing and church research, and is keen to expand SPC’s reach and influence. We are looking forward to having SPC better represented in the public debate. Audra is keen to work with SPC members and to better utilise the opportunities for collaborative endeavour. She will work from our offices at Bedford Street, so call in and see her and discuss your ideas for SPC.
Australia’s relationship with China: prospects and perils
A public forum organised by Social Policy Connections on 26 May at our Bedford Street offices featured Dr Thomas Bartlett and Dr Paul Rule discussing some of the implications of Australia’s close economic ties with China, a country with values so very different from ours.
In discussing the considerable implications of Australia’s growing economic dependence on China, Thomas Bartlett and Paul Rule drew on their extensive experience studying and teaching about and in China. Apart from problems likely to arise from an excessive dependence on one trading partner, the nature of China’s society and political entity raised serious ethical problems in any relationship. The podcast of the conversation between Drs Paul Rule and Tom Bartlett is available on the SPC website at www.socialpolicyconnections.org.au
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Photo: deepchi1, flickr CC
The Church in China
Paul Rule has edited a new book, The Church in China, a collection of essays by leading scholars on religious belief in China, especially concerning Christianity and Buddhism. Published by ATF Theology, for $19.95; pp. 123.
See www.atf.org.au or John Garratt Books, email@example.com.