Asia-Pacific Conference on Comparative Theology 2017
Many people have quipped that Australia exists at the antipodean ends of the earth, the very last stop before Antarctica. Yet, despite our undisputed geographical isolation, an astonishing array of cultures enrich all major Australian cities. Immigration, a robust information superhighway, globalization and the proximity of South and East Asia have produced a land of astonishing cultural and religious diversity.
Such a reality raises some important theological questions. Does only one religious tradition preserve truth? What do other religions say about matters of ultimate concern? How can we best tackle societal illiteracy about other religions, especially when ignorance casts a long shadow of fear that rapidly festers into hatred? Can only “insiders” comment on the veracity of religious traditions and truth claims, or is there a place for the “outsider”? What of those with no affiliation - the so-called “nones” - or even those who classify themselves as “spiritual but not religious”?
The Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at Australian Catholic University takes great pleasure in inviting you to a comprehensive Asia-Pacific Conference on Comparative Theology at St Patrick’s campus, Melbourne, 19 to 20 July. The aim of the two-day conference is to explore new and creative ways of learning from and with other religions, without forsaking one’s own cherished beliefs and practices. Primarily, our focus will be on the purposes and methods of the endeavour within the mobile and pluralistic societies of the Asia-Pacific region.
Keynote speakers include:
Professor Francis X Clooney SJ, the global authority on comparative theology. Clooney is Parkman Professor of Divinity, Professor of Comparative Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University
Professor Joseph S O’Leary, a philosopher from the famed Sophia University, Japan, and an expert in Japanese Buddhism
Fr Dr Bagus Laksana SJ, who lectures at Sanatana Dharma University in Indonesia
Dr Amy Yu Fu, a specialist in Chinese religions from Zhejiang University City College, China.
Several internationally acclaimed scholars of theology and philosophy from ACU along with other Australian universities, and representing a variety of religious backgrounds – Catholic, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Indigenous Australian, Baptist and Anglican - will highlight the significance of our regional context and offer personal reflections on interreligious learning.
We warmly invite you to discover more about the theological and spiritual aspects of inter-religious learning. Further details about keynote speakers, the program and the registration form are available here.
Dates: Wednesday 19 July to Thursday 20 July
Venue: ACU Melbourne Campus, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy