Beyond Belief: Hugh Mackay to speak in Shepparton

beyondbeliefSocial researcher, author and commentator, Hugh Mackay, will present a challenging, sometimes confronting, but most of all enlightening account of the messages in his two latest books Beyond Belief (2016) and The Art of Belonging (2014) at Harder Auditorium on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7 pm.
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Radio National: Is religious violence a scrap in backyard compared to secular violence?

uswhiteAs Islamic extremists explode bombs and spray bullets across Baghdad and Bangladesh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, it’s surely impossible to deny the reality of religious violence.

But renowned religious scholar William Cavanaugh of De Paul University in the United States disputes the idea. His book, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict, argues that violence in the name of faith is no greater, maybe even less, than religion in the name of secular ideologies.

Bill Cavanaugh is in Australia this month to speak at a conference at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, and at the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney. How does he explain the latest bout of Islamist carnage if it isn’t religious?

You and listen to this podast on ABC Radio National.


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Religion and Mental Health: Healthy Religion, Unhealthy Religion

In observance of Mental Health Week Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Voices for Harmony conducted a forum, Religion and Mental Health at GOTAFE on Friday, 9th October. In this report, Rev. Chris Parnell explored Healthy Religion, Unhealthy Religion, and mental illness. ... Read more...

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Christianity and Mental Health

In observance of Mental Health Week, Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Voices for Harmony conducted a forum, Religion and Mental Health at GOTAFE on Friday, 9th October. In this account, local psychologist Estela Hutchings gives an account of her experience as a Christian and psychologist, and the kinds of responses encountered in Christians she has worked with. ... Read more...

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Religion and Mental Health: The Migrant Experience

Frank Purcell In observance of Mental Health Week, Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Voices for Harmony conducted a forum, Religion and Mental Health at GOTAFE on Friday, 9th October. In this account, local president of the St Vincent de Paul North-East conference, Dr Frank Purcell, examines how religion was a bulwark, a support for those experiencing stress years past. Dr Purcell takes a look at migration to Shepparton by Italian, Greek and Albanian communities, and the challenges faced by those migrating from the Middle East in this day and age. ... Read more...

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Forum Observations: Religion and Mental Health

Mental Health Week 2015 In observance of Mental Health Week, Voices for Harmony in collaboration with Shepparton Interfaith Network conducted a forum, Religion and Mental Health at GOTAFE on Friday, 9th October. In this account, local identity, historian and well known book reviewer, Pat Crudden - who coordinates Socrates Cafe at the University of the Third Age - has kindly shared his thoughts about the speakers who presented at this forum. ... Read more...

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Booing the messenger: Goodes is gone, but the confronting truth remains

Adam GoodesMany would deny it, but sport - particularly Australian Rules football - has strong religious overtones in Australia. Earlier this week the AFL Premiership Cup featured in a church service in Scots Church, Melbourne. One of the principal activities of the Shepparton Interfaith Network is to identify and respond to social issues (such as racism) in all forms in our region. In this article, we bring you some observations on the persistent substrata of racism in Australian Rules Football. ... Read more...

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Religion and Politics in Australia

The separation of Church and State is the basis on which Australia builds its relationship between religion and politics. This doesn’t mean that our religious beliefs and practices are not allowed to have influence and impact in the public life of our country. This article sets out how religion and politics relate in a country which accepts that there should be a separation of Church and State. ... Read more...

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ISIS – the Challenge for Australia

The declaration by the ISIS jihardist group of an Islamic State, their restoration of the Caliphate and enforcement of a harsh version of Sharia law poses a serious challenge for Muslim and non-Muslim Australians. Part of the challenge will be for Muslim and non-Mulsim Australians to engage in serious dialogue on the key issues raised by this development. ... Read more...

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Religion and State Schools

Dana St School

Religious education in State schools is a highly contested issue in Australia today. Part of the problem arises from the use of school time to allow religious doctrine to be taught by members of religious groups. This article argues that, distinct from religious doctrine, religious studies show the values shared by religious and secular groups. Realising that we share those values is crucial for building social cohesiveness in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society. .

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Self-Reporting of Religion and Personal Practice

Census 2011

A lot of attention has been paid to the low reporting of religion in the 2011 Census of all household dwellings in Australia. The Bureau of Census reports that there is a high frequency of nones - that is, no religion reported. This raises a number of questions about the Census and what is actually practiced in Australia.

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The 2011 Census

Map of non-belief in AustraliaWith the first round of 2011 census results recently released in June 2012, the first subject of discussion is the state of religion in Australia. Australian Census Stats have now released statistics of belief and non-belief in all areas of Australia. In this article, we explore belief generally along the so-called proliferation of non-belief in the Goulburn Valley, where the Shepparton Interfaith Network is active. ... Read more...

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