Theology and Philosophy

Keynote Speakers

Professor Francis X Clooney SJ - Harvard University and 2017 Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University.

Professor Francis X Clooney SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity, Professor of Comparative Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. Professor Clooney will address the present state of comparative theology as a discipline different from (though not unrelated to) the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. He will reflect on developments of the field in the North American and European contexts and pose questions regarding how the Australasian context might distinctively affect and shape the work of comparative theology.


Professor Joseph S. O’Leary - Sophia University, Japan

Joseph S. O’Leary, who taught literature at Sophia University in Tokyo (1988-2015) and did research on Buddhist philosophy at Nanzan University, Nagoya, will touch on fundamental issues underlying comparative theology, focusing on the notion of conventional truth in Nagarjuna and its importance for fundamental theology today.


The Rev. Dr. Bagus Laksana SJ - Sanatana Dharma University, Indonesia

Bagus Laksana SJ received his PhD in comparative theology from Boston College, USA and is based at Sanatana Dharma University in Yogyakarta. His dissertation addresses the question of identity and alterity in the practice of pilgrimage among Muslims and Catholics in Java, Indonesia. His research interests include the role of pilgrimage, saints and sacred space in Muslim-Christian encounters in Indonesia. He will address questions relating to the possibilities for doing comparative theology with Indonesia, Australia’s nearest neighbour.


Dr. Amy Yu Fu - Zhejiang University City College, China

Amy Yu Fu received her PhD in the Science of Religion from Zhejiang University, China. She will consider comparative theology from a Chinese perspective, enquiring whether religious scholars in China are ready to dialogue with Christian theologians. Is comparative theology relevant in China? How does the Chinese Church relate to academia in constructing Chinese Christian theology?