Australian Research Council Successes

Congratulations to Matt Crawford and Steve Matthews for their success in the highly competitive 2018 Australian Research Council grant round. Matt has been awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, while Steve is a Chief Investigator on a Discovery Project. These research grants are very well-deserved rewards for excellent individual scholarship and testament to ACU’s strong research environment in philosophy, theology, and historiography.

Matt’s project explores ‘Religious belief and Social cohesion’, through a study of Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Iulianum (DE180101539; $382,983.00). This project aims to investigate the role of religious belief and educational training in the formation of a person’s sense of self in society, leading to either social harmony or conflict. It does so by examining a moment of tension in late antique Alexandria to understand the processes that transformed classical antiquity into Byzantine Christendom. This historical analysis will provide Australians with a more multi-faceted understanding of the sources of Australian culture, so that they can better understand their heritage to promote social cohesion.

With Jeanette Kennett, Steve will be working on a project titled ‘Dementia, moral agency and identity’ (DP180103262; $351,361.00). The project aims to examine the ethical issues raised by dementia and the care of those with the condition. The project will examine and evaluate the capacities those with dementia retain for social agency, valuing and relationships. The project will test and refine theories of agency, identity and vulnerability in the light of the cognitive deficits accompanying dementia. The project will lead to the delivery of more efficient healthcare through the development of increased understandings of the relevant ethical considerations for treatment, and recommendations for new and ethical approaches to policy on dementia. It brings benefits to the well-being and relationships of those with this condition, their families and friends, and the professionals who care for them.


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