Pointers

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Pointers Vol.22-1 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.22-1 (March 2012)

Articles include:

Is the ‘New Atheism’ influencing Australians?
There is little evidence from surveys of the Australian population that the ‘New Atheists’ are having widespread impact on people becoming atheist.For a detail account of Australians belief in God, and the factors inhibiting belief, see the first article

Changes in Beliefs and Attitudes to Life Among Students
Responses to surveys of 4100 students in Catholic schools in 2011 can be compared with students responses to surveys conducted between 2005 and 2008.

Being Faithful in Diversity
A series of lectures by Gary Bouma, published by ATF Press in a small book Being Faithful in Diversity, explores the challenges of faith in a multi-faith society.

Celebrating the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop
In May 2011, CRA researchers interviewed 14 students who had travelled to Rome for the canonisation. Eight months on, the interviews found that the students remained very enthusiastic about the event.

Attitudes to Abortion and Approaches to Ethical Issues
15% of Australians say that abortion is always or almost always wrong. Younger people are more likely to accept abortion than older people. However, the views of those who attend church are vastly different with 56% of them saying that abortion is always or almost always wrong.

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Pointers Vol.21-1

Pointers Vol.21-1. (March 2011)

Articles include:

  • Possibilities of Leadership in Rural Catholic Parishes – With the declining number of priests available, many Catholic dioceses are  investigating various ways of organising their parishes. The issue is similar to that faced by many denominations. Catholic parishes, however, have some issues not faced by some Protestant denominations in that priests have an irreplaceable role in celebrating the sacraments. Priests are central to parish life in the Catholic Church and there has not been a tradition of lay people as leaders of worship services. However, two case studies suggest that the patterns of leadership can change and may even strengthen parish life as they do so.
  • Catholic Religious Institutes in Australia – In 2008, the National Council of Catholic Religious Australia commissioned the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Research Office to survey all Catholic Institutes of Clerical Religious, Religious Brothers and Religious Sisters in Australia.The final report of the survey, ‘See, I am Doing a New Thing!’, was launched in Sydney in November 2010.
  • Looking at Art Looking at Life – One way of understanding the culture that we inhabit is to consider how it is sustained in visual terms. This means looking at the visual shape of things as they are expressed through the images, signs and symbols of the world of hopes that make up contemporary consumer culture.
  • Spirituality, Care and Wellbeing in Education – Late 2009, Springer Publishing House released a huge twovolume collection of essays on spirituality, care and wellbeing in education. The volume is timely as schools and other institutions increasingly find themselves grappling with issues of mental health and wellbeing. The first volume of essays focusses mainly on the psychology of religion and spirituality. The second volume is primarily about educational programs and  environments in promoting holistic learning and wellbeing. This review will focus on the second volume.
  • Demographics of a Nation: Australia and the Church – This article from NCLS Research presents a summary of Australian population, age, marital status, education, country of birth and religion. The Australian population is compared with church attenders using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the 2006 National Church Life Survey.
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Pointers Vol.21-2 For Downloading

Pointers, Vol.21-2.  (June 2011)

Articles include:

  • Global Trends in the Changing Context of Mission – Reflections on the 6th Lausanne Researchers Conference, Sao Paulo
  • Researching the Church at the Local Level – While several papers at the 6th International Lausanne Researchers Conference focused on overall issues in Worldwide Christian mission, a number of researchers presented papers outlining issues in research at the local church level. Each of the papers presented a local context for church ministry: the vitality of local evangelical churches in Rio de Janeiro, alternative models of church development and planning in Germany, and the inclusiveness of churches to disabled people in Brazil.
  • The Church and Family Life in Australia – The following paper was delivered by Stephen Reid at the 6th International Lausanne Researchers Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in April 2011. Whilst the paper looked at family life in the Australian context, comparisons to other countries was possible through analysis of data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and the World Values Surveys (WVS).
  • Cross-Cultural Ministry Now and Then –
  • Publications in the Religion-and-Film Field – In the tradition of Pointers 2008 (vol. 18, no. 3) and 2009 (vol. 19, no. 4), below is the third compilation of useful articles in the religionand- film field for your interest, enjoyment and edification.
  • On-Line Religion – The Internet has become an increasingly important part of people’s social interactions as well as a means of accessing information. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009), the proportion of Australian households with computers rose from 44 per cent to 78 per cent between 1998 and 2009. Access to the Internet has increased even more rapidly, from just 16 per cent of households in 1998 to 72 per cent in 2009. It is inevitable that the role of religion on the Internet would also increase over time. A recent edition of the Australian Religion Studies Review was dedicated to articles on religion and
    spirituality in cyberspace.

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Pointers Vol.21-3 For Downloading

Pointers, Vol.21-3. (September 2011)

Articles include:

  • Religion and Youth: World Perspectives – an exploration of how young people are relating to religion around the world.
  • Who’s Coming to School Today? – the attitudes of students, staff and parents to Catholic Schools in Queensland.
  • Access and Values: Functions of Religion in Australian Society – what Australians regard as important functions of religion.

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Pointers Vol.21-4 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.21-4 (December 2011)

Articles include:

Why Some Churches Decline While Others Grow.  New research from England provides an explanation which fits, in part, with the Australian experience. Read more in this edition of Pointers.

Dropping Out of Church. Not many children attend church today compared with years gone by. Yet the drop-out rates have not changed greatly. For the details of this new research, see this edition of Pointers.

Social Networking. Social networking is widespread among young people. What are some of the challenges and pitfalls associated with it? Pointers looks at the latest data gathered from secondary school students in the last 6 months.

Faith and Film. The Christian use of film has had many ups and downs. Today, there are new opportunities for local churches to use visual media effectively. Some of the possibilities are outlined in this article in Pointers.

Factors in Church Giving. Some new research on financial giving to churches in the United States suggests why some churches thrive better financially than others. Find the details here.

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