Pointers 31-1 March 2021

Inside this issue:

Australians’ Attitudes to Other Religions
There is a general assumption in many places that people of different religions cannot get along with each other (Kraft, 2006). After all, they are competitors, offering quite different conceptions of the world in which we live. There is no way around the fact that Muslims generally believe that Jesus did not die on the cross, and thus did not experience resurrection, while those beliefs are central in the Christian faith, for example. Yet, if multi­faith societies are going to work, people of different faiths must live alongside each other. The 2018 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes provides much information about the attitudes that Australians have about people of different religious backgrounds. The same questions were asked in 2009, giving us a picture of the trends that are occurring.

Book Review – Pub Theology: Where Potato Wedges and a Beer are a Eucharistic Experience
One of the great challenges for all forms of practical theology is how one brings together aspects of life and themes of faith into one narrative. Our thinking and experiencing of faith is often siloed, held in quite different compartments from our thinking about our work and other aspects of everyday life. In this book, the authors bring those diverse strains of life together.

Getting ahead in life: What do Australians see as important?
Data from the 2019 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA) was recently released to the public. The AuSSA focuses on a special topic each year, and the topic for the 2019 edition was ‘Social Inequality’. Whilst the specific questions in the survey were centred around inequality, social security and income levels, there were the usual additional demographic questions, including religious affiliation. Inclusion of such variables allow us to compare differences in the views of people of different sexes, from different ethnic backgrounds or of various religions.

Update on the Journal of Contemporary Ministry

Marriage in the UK and Australia
A recent article in Future First, a bi-monthly bulletin published by Peter Brierley, the former director of the Christian Research Association UK, provides a fascinating insight into the changes that have taken place in relation to marriage in the UK since the 1940s. It also prompts us to reflect upon similarities and differences to changes which have occurred in Australian society.

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