Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry

Catholic Thought & Practice

Catholic Thought & Practice, including inter-religious dialogue

Our research incorporates the ongoing investigation of questions and issues that each generation encounters at one time or another pertaining to belief in the divine and the nature and place of humanity in the world. Drawing on such areas as moral, systematic and practical theology, we explore contextual approaches to the interpretation of the sources of faith in dialogue with contemporary culture.

A further key area of inquiry is the theological and philosophical frameworks for effective inter-religious dialogue. The research is aimed at facilitating understanding and appreciation so that the wisdom of the faith traditions is not neglected in public discourse.

ACU Funded Projects

The possibility of a Christian philosophy: The reception of Augustine and Aquinas in the works of Gilson, Lonergan and Ratzinger

Project Leader: Neil Ormerod

Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas have dominated Western theology’s landscape. Their continued reception in the 21st century is indicative of the fruitfulness of their thought. This project will examine the different ways their thought is appropriated by three major Catholic thinkers—Etienne Gilson, Bernard Lonergan and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). With a particular focus on the possibility of a Christian philosophy, this project will explore their creative contribution to the development of Catholic thought in the 21st century and beyond.

Faith on the Move: Christianity and the Intercultural Church

Project Leader: Gemma Cruz

Through theological investigation, we examine the challenges and opportunities that Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, has faced and continues to face in the context of the migration of Christians past and present. This project will seek to develop the concept of an intercultural church, which will be tested and analysed vis-à-vis the experience of the Catholic Church in multicultural Australia.

Interview by Institute for World Church and Mission (a Jesuit institute) in Frankfurt, Germany in conjunction with my paper presentation on “Mission in the Megacities of Asia” for the “Mission in the 21st Century” conference held 8-10 March 2016 at Philosophisch-Theologische Hochscule Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt.

“Glimpses of Grace, Pathways to the Sacred:  The Many Faces of Journey and Pilgrimage Today” – An Endowed Lecture (Saint Joseph Lecture) at Providence College, USA on 28 March 2016.

Global Catholicism: Asian Catholicism and Globalization

Dr Gemma Cruz is working on the Asian Catholicism and Globalization Research Project, a joint research project between members of ACU’s Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society and Georgetown University. Upcoming events include Experts Seminars (Georgetown, November 2016; Manila March 2017), and a Conference in Melbourne in May 2017. Please see here for further details.