Children and the Church

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Children and the Church – Jesus brings the child to a place in the middle

Vivienne Mountain

ISBN: 978-1-875223-80-0

Dr Keith White, the co-founder and chair of the international Child Theology Movement says,
Child Theology is a lively movement that is developing, with a range of personal insights and much cultural variety. What Vivienne charts so delightfully is the story of her own awakening primarily in an Australasian context, richly informed by the experiences and reflections of children and adults from around the world.
This book will inspire those who work with children. It also offers insights and challenges for all people who are engaged in ministry. It asks what does it mean ‘to place the child in the middle’ for discipleship and for the church itself? Dr Alan Niven, vice-principal of Stirling Theological College, Melbourne, says ‘Competent research, measured theological reflection and insights from practice, combine to offer us a resource that will enable and empower.

Re-imagining Church

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Re-Imagining Curch:
Positive Ministry Responses to the Age of Experience


Many church leaders are confused. Patterns of ministry which worked so well in the past are no longer effective. Churches which grew rapidly have ceased to grow. The culture of the Western world has changed. At its heart is a change in the nature of authority: from tradition and reason to the authority of personal experience.
This book explores the changes in culture and church life. Rev Dr Philip Hughes, the senior research officer of the Christian Research Association outlines the problem the churches are facing. Rev Gary Bouma, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Monash University, and an Anglican Priest, charts the origins of the problem.
The large part of the book is the work of Rev Dr Gerald Rose, a senior minister in the Churches of Christ in Victoria, Australia. Through careful observation and detailed interviews of ministers, he describes a range of ministry responses to the changing culture. He explores, not one solution, but many: the ministry of intentional mission, of the charismatic movement, of ministry based in relationships, and of ministry rooted in classical spirituality.
This is a book which should be read by church leaders, ministers and pastors of all denominations. It provides great insight into the nature of contemporary culture and outlines positive pathways for ministry in the Western context.

The Religion-and-Film Genre: A Select Bibliography

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The Religion-and-Film Genre: A Select Bibliography

This is the second century of the age of Hollywood and the reign of moving image culture. Black-and-white photography started it. Film got it moving, talking and coloured. Television got it out of theatres and into your home, at first small and monochrome but now big and colourful. The Internet now brings it directly into your office and straight onto your PC, tablet or mobile phone. It entertains and educates us all. Indeed, the popular cinema (aka movies, films, flicks, the pictures) has become the lingua franca of the children-of-the-media during the 20th and 21st centuries, with no hint of its demise in sight. And yet, despite this social reality, mainstream religious education has been reluctant to seriously utilise movies in the classroom, home or pulpit beyond their visual aide or student pacifier roles. The following fifteen heuristic categories (with book, book chapter, and article break-downs per category) were created for your ease, enjoyment and edification.

Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts And Figures

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts and Figures

An essential reference on Australia’s religious groups with the latest information from the Australian 2011 Census.  Church leaders and everyone interested in the changing profile of Australia’s profile will find this invaluable. This book describes the changing profile and participation in each religious group. Find here:

  • changing numbers – growth and decline,
  • the impact of immigration – and what languages immigrants use,
  • profile of age – and like trends in the future
  • who is participating in worship … and who is not.

Every religious group with over 1,000 people identifying with it is covered in the book. Are we really becoming a secular nation? How large, really, is the Moslem population in Australia and how fast is it growing? What is the fastest growing religious group in Australia? You will be surprised by many of the answers!

A Brief Review Of Church-related Research In Australia 1975-2005

Monday, May 7th, 2012

A Brief Review of Church-Related Research in Australia 1975-2005, by Peter Bentley and Phillip Hughes

ISBN : 1-875223-23-1

This paper has two parts. The first is a brief survey of sociological research that has been undertaken in church-related organisations since 1975. This review does not cover historical, economic or psychological research, nor research based on ethical, Biblical or theological grounds. Nor does it attempt to cover the research that has occurred in tertiary institutions, although some references are made to such research. This overview focuses on religious faith and church life. It does not cover the large amount of research that has been done in relation to religious schools and religious education. Nor does it cover the research conducted by welfare agencies and social justice arms of the churches.
The second part traces some development in thethinking about church life and faith in the Australian cultural context, focusing particularly on the journey that has occurred in the Christian Research Association over the last twenty years while acknowledging contributions from other research bodies. In tracing this journey, this review reflects on the evolving understanding of the Australian context, summarising some of the major insights and findings from the research.

Putting Life Together

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research, by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875138-07-4

How do young people between the ages of 13 and 24 put life together? What do they value in life? What parts does religion and spirituality play? Based on interviews and surveys over four years, this book provides a detailed and well-founded picture of Australian young people.

The book examines the influences of families, schools and churches on the lives of young people and describes how they can best help young people to enjoy positive and responsible relationships with themselves, close others, the wider society, the natural environment and with God.  It suggests ways of pointing young people to the spiritual dimension of life, respecting their frameworks for seeing the world, but also doing justice to the counter-cultural nature of the Christian faith.

This volume by Philip Hughes is a must for educators, youth workers and church leaders. Hughes’ meticulous research has probed the way Generation Y views the world and the relationships with self, society and nature. Probing even deeper, this research uncovers a dimension of the spiritual in all these relationships, a dimension that is not tradition but provocative, a dimension that is likely to transform society in the future. – Dr Norman Habel, Professorial Fellow, Flinders University.

This book is essential reading for all professionals involved in the education and care of youth. What makes it so valuable is that it not only reports significant research findings, it interprets the complexity of cultural influences on young people’s spiritual and moral development. Hughes has developed a most informative and helpful perspective on the spirituality of young people. – Graham Rossiter, Professor of Moral and Religious Education, Australian Catholic University.

Shaping Australia’s Spirituality

Monday, November 1st, 2010

A Review of Christian Ministry in the Australian Context, by Philip Hughes with assistance from Stephen Reid and Claire Pickering

ISBN: 978-0-980827-514

This book draws on a wide range of recent research to provide a picture of religious faith in the Australian context. In the light of this picture, the book reviews currend forms of Christian ministry – amongst children, families, youth, in the workplace and community, as well as in the churches.