Pointers September 2020

Inside this issue:

Is the Church Liquifying?
The most popular metaphor of what is happening to religious faith in contemporary Western societies is that of secularisation. It is a metaphor of the replacement of religious thinking by scientific thinking. While many scholars have suggested their own versions of secularisation, there is widespread doubt about the value of that metaphor. Another metaphor has been suggested by the British-Polish social theorist, Zygmunt Bauman: the liquifying of modernity. Perhaps his image is that of a huge, solid iceberg, very solid and stable, which begins to melt as it is surrounded by warm currents of water. The iceberg breaks apart. Small sections of ice continue to float. But some of the ice melts entirely into the water which surrounds it.

Listening to the Homeless: Social Housing in the Corner Inlet area of Victoria
In 2019, the Christian Research Association was contracted by the Foster Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society to investigate people’s attitudes and experiences of homelessness in the Corner Inlet area, a location in the South Gippsland region, approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. The project aimed to understand more about the circumstances leading to homelessness, the challenges individuals faced in such situations, the support structures needed to assist, and to determine the extent to which there may be a need for additional social housing in the area.

The Carmel Framework: Engaging Religious Education Students with Truth
I have been teaching secondary school Religious Education (RE) for 27 years, and engagement has been a dominant issue over that time. The big question in conferences, workshops, forums or staff meetings is: how do we get students to engage with this subject? I need to clarify what I mean by engagement. There have been numerous resources to assist staff to engage students at an entertainment level, such as games and quizzes, which support topics within most curriculums. The real challenge, however, is to engage students at a much deeper level; that is, at a life and faith level.

 

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