'Wisdom working for the common good' is what the Centre is all about.
The following Four Pillars focus the Centre's work and guide how it engages with Australian society.
Given the increasing multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of our society and the significant issues before us, a fresh wisdom is needed to promote the flourishing of Australia, its people, land and neighbours.
The Centre's work is to foster a wisdom that is intellectually robust, relevant to civil society and practical in its application.
This covers a large area, embraces the idea of a 'national dialogue' and includes contemporary issues such as: indigenous reconciliation, asylum seekers and refugees, climate change, welfare and public policy, the place of the child in society, human sexuality, freedom of religion and humanitarian aid and development.
The ACC&C is well placed to host, initiate, promote and contribute to public discussion on the nature of our society and the underlying values we adhere to.
The focus on peace is central as it gathers a cluster of important themes for a liberal democratic society like Australia: openness, mutual respect, friendship, listening, ecumenism, justice, reconciliation, cooperation.
The ecumenical and interfaith dimensions of this pillar encourage new religious engagements which are focused on achievements, rather than simply dialogue.
It is not simply for the sake of better understanding that we pursue religious dialogue and peace. Our attention is always wider involving the social, political and economic horizons of our society. Religious dialogue and the pursuit of things that make for peace are societal tasks and responsibilities for the wellbeing of civil society. Through engagement participants are stretched towards a concern for the common good.
The Four Pillars give purpose to the work of the Centre and importantly offer a way through which an intentional public theology can take shape and help to make a difference to the quality of the Church's engagement and witness in contemporary Australia.
The Centre for Ecumenical Studies work relates to this pillar.
This pillar draws attention to the need for ethical leadership in the Churches and society. But the focus is broader and concerns the wellbeing of institutions in which leadership takes place. Building resilience in personal life, in institutions and leadership is vital in times of transition and stress. This pillar will be the avenue for the development in the coming years of leadership programs using the best insights of Christian theology and disciplines and programs with a proven track record in leadership and institutional life.
This pillar recognises the importance of creativity and imagination in human life and society. Over the years the Centre has promoted these themes through music, religious poetry, drama and liturgical experimentation. The Centre is an excellent venue for Art displays. In 2015 the Centre is launching a National Religious Short Film Prize. We value links with all those who are concerned about the Arts and the common good.
The sciences are a rich source of human creativity and operate at the cutting edge of new knowledge. Scholars associated with the Centre have for many years been part of international dialogues exploring the relationship between the sciences and theology.