November Research Colloquium

The next Research Colloquium is scheduled for this Friday 4th November starting at 1.30pm in G4. The program is as follows:

1.30pm – 2.15pm John Fitz-Herbert DMin Research Proposal BECOMING RECONCILED: A critical review of responses from the official Australian Catholic Church to Australian national
indigenous Reconciliation, in light of the Catholic liturgical tradition.
2.15pm – 3.00pm Jason Kioa DMin Research Presentation Why was the formation of the Tongan National Conference necessary?
3.00pm – 3.45pm Ben Myers Faculty Presentation Three Visions of Grace: Milton, Herbert, and Shakespeare
3.45pm – 4.30pm Martin Teulan DMin Research Proposal Creating Disciples in Australian Catholic Parishes

John Fitz-Herbert BECOMING RECONCILED: A critical review of responses from the official Australian Catholic Church to Australian national indigenous Reconciliation, in light of the Catholic liturgical tradition.

The aim of the research is to evaluate critically how Catholic liturgical celebrations and ritual forms contribute to the process of indigenous Reconciliation within our communities and for our nation. The focus on liturgical celebrations has value from two perspectives. Within the Roman Catholic tradition reconciliation has been expressed primarily through ritual, with actions and declarations grounded in rites. Ritual language and events speak effectively into the catholic community. In fact many of the actions of the Catholic Church towards reconciliation have been set within a liturgical framework or have ritual implications. The First Peoples of Australia are well versed in the language of ritual and symbol, and so there is the possibility of critical dialogue across the language of ritual and symbol. However this research will concentrate on a critical analysis of Catholic rite and symbol.
The general approach to be taken here will be on non-indigenous liturgical responses. Examples will be found in diocesan (local church) and national liturgical gatherings, parish celebrations, liturgical events fostered by religious orders, and Roman Catholic organisations (e.g. schools, health, and aged care).

Jason Kioa Why was the formation of the Tongan National Conference necessary?
This is Chapter 3 of my Thesis Titled “The Role of the Tongan National Conference in the Uniting Church.”

There are two reasons that I am exploring of why the Tongan National Conference was formed. One was the declaration by Assembly meeting of the Uniting Church in 1985 that the UCA is a Multicultural Church. The Tongan National Conference was formed in 1987, two years after the declaration. The second reason is the relationship between the Uniting Church and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga over many years since the first missionaries from Australia went to Tonga in 1822.

Ben Myers ben_myers_teaching Three Visions of Grace: Milton, Herbert, and Shakespeare

In this work-in-progress paper I will discuss representations of divine grace in the work of three early modern English poets. Milton’s Paradise Lost depicts divine and human agency as operating in precisely demarcated spheres. The divine-human relationship is portrayed in rational and pedagogical terms: God instructs human beings about their duty, and human responsibility consists in understanding and obedience. In George Herbert’s devotional poetry, the relationship between God and human beings is more interior, conversational, and transformative. God relates to human beings not as an external agent but as a hidden order of the soul that gently tames and tunes the discordant elements of experience. I will contrast these two models, the rational and the aesthetic, with a dramatic model of grace in Shakespeare’s late plays. Shakespeare’s late romances frequently use the language of ‘grace’. They depict tragic plots that end happily, thanks to some kind of miraculous meddling: e.g. the resurrection of Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, and the salvation of the shipwrecked characters in The Tempest. Unlike Herbert’s aesethetic model, not all discordant elements are resolved into harmony in this dramatic model; and unlike Milton’s rational model, there is no clear communication to human agents about what grace means or what obligations it entails. Instead, for Shakespeare, grace is a pattern of meaning that is never fully exhausted in the drama of any life. It is what enables human stories to go on in spite of all that remains unhealed and unresolved and incapable of explanation.

Martin Teulan Creating Disciples in Australian Catholic Parishes

The Catholic Church in Australia is in serious decline, at least in the key sector, the parish. At the same time, Pope Francis is extremely popular with people of all faiths and none, and his popularity appears a result of his modelling the concept of “Missionary Discipleship”. The motivation for this research is the question: How can a workable program for the re-vitalisation of parishes be developed, with a particular focus on discipleship .

A study is proposed utilising the extensive research already conducted on church life in Australia, in particular through the National Church Life Survey and other research of the Catholic Pastoral Research Office. It will also examine case studies of prominent Catholic parishes and other churches. The study will critically appraise the approaches of recent Popes to this crisis, the current situation of the Catholic parishes and the possible contribution of modern management methods espoused by Peter Drucker to parish and Church renewal.

The proposed result will be a plan for effective re-vitalisation of Catholic parishes through the implementation of an effective program of formation of parishioners as disciples.

HDR Students are reminded that their participation in the Research Colloquiums is a critical component of their candidature and that apologies should be sent to me at [email protected]

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