University of Divinity


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Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are together seeking to mobilise world opinion to change the way we live and produce. EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope works to reconcile Catholic teaching, population pressures and sustainable development

On his first visit to the US, Pope Francis will highlight the challenges of poverty and sustainability. A related issue, he acknowledges, is population. So what does that mean for Catholic teaching?
The discovery of Kepler-452b raises questions that go to the heart of religion. NASA/AAP/ Artist's impression of Kepler-452b.

Heavens above: what Earth 2.0’s discovery means for God

Kepler-452b's discovery last week has raised the perennial question: are we alone in the universe? While the find's scientific import is huge, it also poses questions that go to the heart of religion.
The method used, until recently, by a large proportion of scholars of the New Testament and Christian origins, is flawed. Roberto Urrea

Getting the gist of a ‘historical’ Jesus: the Jesus Seminar 30 years on

Traditions about Jesus cannot be separated out into the categories of early and late, primary and secondary, authentic or inauthentic, fact and interpretation. One might as well try and unscramble an omelette.
The earliest sources, including Paul’s letters, show very little interest in the mythological details of heavenly existence. Wikimedia Commons/ Probably Valentin de Boulogne: Saint Paul Writing His Epistles.

Paul’s Apocalypse gave us heaven and hell several times over

Interpretations of Paul the apostle's texts provided the basic fund of imagery that continues to inform popular opinion about what Christians mean when they talk about "heaven", or "hell".
Large numbers of people who do not normally attend church still go there to celebrate Christmas. ManImMac

The church has left Christmas Day to the heathen … maybe

In my home city of Melbourne, an extraordinary cultural and religious drama is played out on Christmas Eve each year at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets. Thousands of people mill around…

Remembering with hope

Today a state memorial service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne to remember those who died in the MH17 catastrophe and those who grieve for them. The purpose of the service was to provide a…
Pope Francis argues that the poor are at the heart of the Gospel and it’s the communists who have ‘stolen the flag’. EPA/Nicola Lanese

Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?

A blog in The Economist recently accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and…

Asylum seekers: praying for change

Yesterday around 20 Christian activists staged sit-ins in Sydney at the office of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and in Melbourne at that of Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten. The protesters included…
Bastl F. Flickr

Parliament needs more ritual, not fewer prayers

In January, Greens Senator Richard di Natale sparked another round of the never-ending debate as to whether or not the Australian Parliament should open with prayer. Under standing orders, each sitting…

When should we hang Christmas decorations?

Today, December 6, is celebrated by the Christian churches as the feast day of St Nicholas. The saint is one of the historic figures on whom Santa Claus is based and so today is the closest the world gets…
Bruce Springsteen during his Working on a Dream tour in Munich, 2009. Lord_Henry

Theology according to Springsteen?

Rutgers University recently announced it will offer a first-year seminar on the theology of Bruce Springsteen. The seminar, led by Azzan Yadin-Israel, will cover songs spanning Springsteen’s 40-year career…

Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of memory

This week Australia and many other nations celebrate a major civic ritual, Remembrance Day, which commemorates all who have died in war. It was originally known as Armistice Day, for it marked the end…
An unprecedented 22% of Australians have declared themselves to be of “no religion”. Jetuma

Don’t stop believing: religion has a place in Australia’s future

Recently the Prime Minister called upon the Labor Party to “repent” of its introduction of the carbon tax. His comments were ridiculed by some critics, not for the substance of what he said, but for the…

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