Degree of Reckoning

Degree of Reckoning

A small piece of history was made in March when Julia Baird stood in front of 300 graduands and received the highest academic honour the University of Divinity bestows, the Doctor of Divinity.

Julia Baird is a journalist, historian and broadcaster. She is known for her work as an ABC presenter of The Drum, and as the author of a recent biography of Queen Victoria.

Julia with her colleague Hayley Gleeson has addressed an issue largely ignored and unstudied in Australia – domestic violence in faith communities.

Is the Old Testament Dying?

Is the Old Testament Dying?

What is the status of the Old Testament within the Australian church? How might we improve biblical literacy and fluency, especially of the Old Testament? Perhaps we begin with impressing on our people that the Old Testament is Scripture, and that it was the Scripture that also formed and influenced Jesus Christ who cited it liberally. He questioned it, challenged it, reflected upon it and drew inspiration from it but he did not reject it. Our understanding of the New Testament is impoverished when we distance it and its connections to the Old Testament.

Australia needs a better conversation about religious freedom

Australia needs a better conversation about religious freedom

Tomorrow, the Ruddock inquiry is due to release its findings on whether Australian law adequately protects the right to freedom of religion. The timing of this inquiry comes on the back of marriage reform.

It’s hard not to see the inquiry as an effort to appease Christians who opposed the reform. The published submissions certainly suggest this is the major issue. But there is hope it may engender a more interesting conversation over the nature of Australia’s diverse democratic secularism.

How the Bible helped shape Australian culture

How the Bible helped shape Australian culture

In Australia, the Bible’s arrival was accompanied by a prevailing European cultural heritage with linear ideas about time, entrenched concepts of government (and imperialism) and a language already shaped by biblical literature. All of which stood in stark contrast to Indigenous Australian culture.