Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

lifestoryBuddhism is Australia’s second largest religion, and has a long history dating back to at least the 1850s Gold Rush period, yet the life stories of prominent Buddhists in Australia have remained largely undocumented until now. Buddhist leaders and community members in Australia felt there was an urgent need to record these stories and to preserve them for future generations.

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Muslims Advance Consensus for Citizenship for All:

(MARRAKESH, 27 January 2016) — At the invitation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, 250 of the world’s eminent Islamic leaders convened to discuss the rights of religious minorities and the obligation to protect them in Muslim majority states.

This position has historic roots dating to the time of Prophet Mohammed and the Medina Charter. Today’s Declaration was issued at a time of heightened social hostility fueled by violent extremism, widespread Islamophobia and the denial of rights, sometimes justified by misrepresentations of Islamic teachings.

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Opponents of Bendigo mosque ordered to pay $55,000 in legal costs

OPPONENTS of Bendigo’s first mosque have been dealt a blow after being ordered to pay $55,000 in legal costs. Last month, Victoria’s top court rejected an application by a 16-strong group, led by Bendigo women Julie Hoskin and Kathleen Howard, for leave to appeal against two ­decisions of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

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50 Years of Nostra Aetate

Nostra aetate (Latin: In our Time) is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI. In Australia, this anniversary was observed with a special celebration at the Great Synagogue, Sydney. In this article, we bring you Pope Francis’s Message on this occasion.

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Discussion Paper: Citizenship

people walking Understanding the factors that underpin social cohesion is crucial to maintaining a functional society and positive future outlook. Since 2007, the Scanlon Foundation has supported Australia’s largest study, monitoring the nation’s attitudes on the issues influencing our cohesion. The Scanlon Foundation has released a discussion paper on Citizenship in order that we might address the concerns about social cohesion.

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New Guide To Help Refugee Students And Families Succeed At School

Launched during Refugee Week, Schools and Families in Partnership: A Desktop Guide to Engaging Families from Refugee Backgrounds in their Children’s Learning, gives schools vital information about ways that families and schools can collaborate to meet the needs of students and their families from refugee backgrounds.

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Interfaith and social cohesion in Australia: looking to the future

The Australian Multicultural Council was commissioned by the Australian Government to examine aspects of Social Cohesion in Australia, and the role of interfaith dialogue in building and maintaining social cohesion. This report examines social cohesion, religion, national engagement in Interfaith Dialogue, and opportunities for strengthening interfaith dialogue. The various topics of roundtable discussion were – inter alia – Interfaith sector and social cohesion, Interfaith and anti-racism, Interfaith education and Inclusion in interfaith dialogue.

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The Role of Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals

William F Vendley

Religious communities know that persons and communities are inseparable. This means that true sustainable development must engage both persons and their communities. We ignore this profound reciprocity at our peril. To nourish and strengthen vital communities, religions advance social virtues like trust, seeking the common good and an abiding sense of responsibility for others animated by unrestricted Love and Compassion. Again, these social virtues help generate what economist have begun to call the “social capital” essential for development, William F. Vendley said at the UN Special Event on World Interfaith Harmony: Multi-religious Partnership for Sustainable Development.

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What next for interfaith partnerships and human development?

Katherine Marshall at the United Nations

The interfaith movement is a rich mosaic of efforts, ranging from theological discourse to practical coalitions. Some interreligious harmony work is built on ethereal, ethical, and theological foundations. And some is grounded in an earthy, urgent common interest or in response to a crisis or threat, said Katherine Marshall to the UN Special Event on World Interfaith Harmony: Multi-religious Partnership for Sustainable Development.

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New data highlights leading causes of death in Australia

It may not be something we like to think about but new government data reveals what our leading causes of death are.

For people over 45 years it remains chronic disease, but suicide is the biggest killer of Australians aged between 15 and 44.

Lifeline says the stigma around suicide remains the biggest challenge for support services.

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Violent Extremism and the Value of Interfaith Dialogue

AS RECENT EVENTS in Australia and overseas attest, violent extremist acts persist as a chosen tool for radical groups to terrorise populations and recruit more adherents. This is despite a wide array of prevention, containment and rehabilitation strategies in place around the world. Brian Adams of Griffith University Centre for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue writes about the toolbox of interfaith and intercultural dialogue.

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Interfaith Dialogue and the Social Dividend

Prof. Desmond Cahill, Chair, Religions for Peace Australia, has given an address to the G20 Interfaith Summit at the Gold Coast, held 16-18 November. The topic for Prof. Cahill’s address was Interfaith Dialogue and the Social Dividend. In his talk, Prof Cahill gave a description of interfaith activity:

Interfaith activity, firstly, means the different faith communities not just living harmoniously side-by-side (though this is a good beginning) but actively knowing about and respecting each other and each other’s beliefs in fair and honourable competition, not allowing the mistakes and tragedies of the distant and recent past to pervert the present.

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Religion and Multifaith Diversity: Evolution in a Globalizing World

In this paper presented to the Evolution Symposium of 2014, Prof. Des Cahill, Chair, Religions for Peace Australia, examines various creation narratives and beliefs of different religions and goes on the offence with regard to the thoughts of Richard Dawkins. Prof. Cahill also examines creationism and intelligent design and whether or not either of these might be taught in Australian schools, considering the legal and constitutional dimensions. With regard to the roles of state govenemnts and the duty of the Minister of Education to have oversight of what is taught in schools, there are some thoughtful issues raised by Professor Cahill.

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