Research Papers

The CRA regularly makes information about religion in Australia available in research papers. For other research papers, go to ‘Products Page’ in the menu, and then to ‘Research Papers’.

The Axial Age And Religion In Australia Today

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

In my book, Charting the Trends in Australian
Religion: 30 Years in the Christian Research
Association (Hughes, 2016), I suggested that
we may be moving into a second axial age.
In an interview following the release of the
book, I was asked what I meant by that. I
had in mind the huge change in the nature
of faith in Australia that has occurred since
the 1960s: from something that is dominated
by religious institutions to a much more
personal spirituality, owned and developed by
individuals. However, the question motivated
me to look more closely at the development
and nature of the Axial Age and what might be
corresponding changes today. One of the books
that proved very helpful in those reflections was
the collection of essays edited by Robert Bellah
and Hans Joas (2012), The Axial Age and Its
Consequences. I have referred to many of the
essays in this monograph.

Philip Hughes 2019

To purchase this paper, click here.

Taking Holistic Education Seriously

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Taking Holistic Education Seriously
by Philip Hughes and Stephen Reid

ISBN: 978-1-875223-73-2

This paper shows how schools can and do contribute to the holistic education of their students. ┬áHolistic education is defined by this paper in terms of the development of people’s relationships with themselves and their friends, and a development of a commitment to the wider society, the natural environment and religious faith. Based on surveys in 29 Catholic schools in four dioceses and two States, it suggests ways in which schools can measure and assess their influence.

Bible Engagement Among Australian Young People

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Conservatively interpreted, the surveys show that around 4 per cent of young people read the
Bible daily, another 6 per cent read it weekly, and 15 to 20 per cent read it very occasionally.
About 70 per cent never read it. The frequency of Bible reading is a little greater among older
young people, although this is probably a result of changing history patterns over generations and
not related to age.
Of those who read the Bible daily or weekly, most attend church services and youth activities, such
as a Bible study group. Most also have parents and friends who attend church frequently. Those
who read it frequently are mostly involved in Protestant Evangelical or Charismatic
denominations, such as the Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Seventh-day
For a full account of Bible engagement among young people, click here to read the full report which was commissioned by the Bible Society (South Australia).

A Maze Or A System?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

A Maze or a System? explores the changes that have occurred since the 1970s in the ways Australians have seen the world. It argues that the worldview has changed from ‘a system’ to ‘a maze’. It looks at implictions of this change in worship, education and theology. Please feel free to download this sample Research Paper.

Research Papers are supplied in Adobe Acrobat format and require an appropriate reader to view.

Maze or System