We must protect people from harmful speech. But the cause of freedom must exceed the creation of religious exemptions.
As the Ruddock review of religious freedom is about to report, we need a more sophisticated understanding of what religion is and the ways its expression can be curtailed - or can curtail others.
Throughout Australian history, the Bible has been used by those both asserting colonial power and subverting it, as a tool of oppression and as an instrument of justice.
A new book explores the complex and nuanced place the Bible has held in Australian culture since hundreds of copies arrived with the First Fleet in 1787.
Hans Zatzka (Public Domain)/The Conversation
What would our church and society look like if we were confronted with the reality that the body hung on the cross was brown?
Detail from Caravaggio’s Mary Magdelene, painted circa 1594-1596.
For centuries, Mary Magdalene was wrongly depicted as a repentant whore, diminishing her vital role as witness to the resurrection. A new film portraying her life does much to restore her character.
The road to same-sex marriage within churches is likely to be a long one indeed.
Even though more than half of Australia's Christians are in favour of marriage equality, churches have been slow to allow it – here's why.
The nativity scenes celebrated each Christmas bear little resemblance to history.
The inn, the shepherds, angels and animals: pretty much everything we think we know about the Christmas story is historically wrong.
At the heart of this theology is a problematic understanding of power, particularly God’s power.
It is time for fundamentalist Christians to examine their own theology and face up to how it has contributed to the abuse of women, intentionally or otherwise.
Our first episode of Trust Me, I’m An Expert tackles the debate unfolding as Australia contemplates changing the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couple to marry.
In this episode of Trust Me I'm An Expert, we're wading into the same-sex marriage debate with experts on the Bible and the law, and fact-checking claims that kids do best with a mother and a father.
Religious organisations have freedom under Australian law to practise their own doctrines and marriage rituals.
Even if secular law changes to allow same-sex couples to marry, churches are protected by religious freedom to choose who they will - or will not - marry.
Christians who call on the Bible to support their arguments against marriage equality are on shaky ground.
For Christian groups to claim the Bible speaks against same-sex marriage is simply a misreading of biblical values.
Religious opponents of assisted dying laws most often appeal to the sanctity of human life.
Christianity's long tradition of compassionate care for both the dying and the dead means it brings some wisdom and experience to the voluntary assisted dying issue.
Margaret Court’s views on homosexuality do not reflect those of most Christians.
There is nothing inherently Christian about the so-called traditional arrangement of the nuclear family.
Clergy must abide by strict new rules governing their relationships.
The Anglican Church's new rules destroy the biblical principle of lay people as co-workers with the clergy.
With attendance at mass continuing to flag, the Catholic bishops’ influence has waned with it.
The Catholic bishops have exhorted Australians to cast a "vote for the voiceless", but it is doubtful that their plea will be paid much heed – by politicians or the public.
The last census revealed that just over 60% of Australians identified as Christian, but only one in seven of those attended church regularly.
Church affiliation and attendance is on the wane in Australia – a trend that is unlikely to be reversed be the recent slew of sex abuse scandals.
Anglican Dean of Brisbane Dr Peter Catt is leading a sanctuary offer to asylum-seekers facing deportation to Nauru.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
In offering to open church buildings across Australia as places of sanctuary for asylum seekers, church leaders are appealing to an ancient notion of how we should treat people in need of protection.
Evidence to support the idea of a married Jesus is about as minimal as it ever has been.
The Gospel of Jesus' Wife, once thought to be authentic, has been revealed as a fraud. How did critical scholarship uncover the truth, and how can it further biblical studies?
Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are together seeking to mobilise world opinion to change the way we live and produce.
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.
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.
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.