Faith and the Political

The Biennial Conference in Philosophy, Religion and Culture will take place 4 – 5 October 2014, at Catholic Institute of Sydney. The conference specifically aims to foster interaction between scholars in the universities and scholars in theological colleges. It also encourages young scholars.

The “Faith and the Political” theme is to be interpreted broadly and from the disciplines of philosophy, theology, history, social science, literature and the arts. Topics that might be investigated include: scandal in/of Christianity; structures of belief and opinion; secularisation, fundamentalism and inculturation; politics in the Bible and the Bible in politics; religion in the public forum; Christian ethics in a liberal democracy; liberation and equality.

Keynote speaker Peter Forrest, author of The Epistemology of Scandal, introduces his approach to the theme:

‘How can you continue to believe in the face of scandals?’. This question is not, I submit, merely a manifestation of the ad hominem fallacy exemplified by, “How can you take Frege seriously when he was a bigot?’ Nor can it be dismissed by noting that the reality of sin is a central Christian doctrine. I argue that ‘right reason’ requires not merely the rational assessment of doctrines but a way of deciding which doctrines to assess. Scandal undermines the appeal to authority when assessing but not the reliance on traditions when deciding what to assess. As a consequence, scandal tends to undermine ‘simple faith’ and mandates the, not necessarily academic, philosophical reflection on faith.

Proposals Due: 20 June 2014

Conveners: Stephen Buckle (ACU), William Emilsen (UTC/CSU), Peter Forrest (UNE), John McDowell (Newcastle), Shane Mackinlay (CTC/MCD), Andrew Murray (CIS/SCD)
Venue: Catholic Institute of Sydney
Contact: Andrew Murray: [email protected]
Full details are available on the CIS website.

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