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“Beware the man of one book.”

St. Thomas Aquinas
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Social Justice & the Churches Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities

Edited by John D’Arcy May. Chapters written by representatives of seven Australian Churches show that Christian approaches to social justice are startlingly distinctive, in their starting points as well as in their positions on urgent matters of human rights, sexual ethics, and economic justice. Social justice is not just a matter of applying well-known ‘first principles’ shared by all Christian traditions, but is coloured by history, culture, and context. Launched on 5 November 2014 at the Centre for Theology & Ministry in Melbourne by Professor Peter Sherlock, Vice-chancellor of the University of Divinity, Social Justice and the Churches gathers the papers delivered at a conference on 8-9 November 2013 at Newman College, Parkville, convened by the Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy.

The prominent Jesuit human rights advocate, Professor Frank Brennan, opened the conference with his keynote address, and the following day in response to Fr Brennan, seven speakers spoke of their own traditions of social justice. The book includes contributions by Major Jenny Begent (Salvation Army), Fr Max Vodola (Roman Catholic), Revd Gerard Rose (Churches of Christ), Revd Geoff Pound (Baptist), Revd Raymond Cleary (Anglican), Dr Mark Zirnsak (Uniting Church), and Fr Shenouda Boutros (Coptic Orthodox Church). Margaret Coffey from ABC Radio National also offered her reflections in response to the presentations

Order copies of Social Justice and the Churches.
Read Professor Peter Sherlock’s launch address.
Read Dr John D’Arcy May’s response

A World United or a World Exploited? Christian Perspectives on Globalisation

Revd Dr John Henley launched A World United or a World Exploited? Christian Perspectives on Globalisation on 20 June at Yarra Theological Union at Box Hill. Dr Henley commended the book for tackling such crucial current issues in such a multi-disciplinary way. Dr Henley was dean of the Melbourne College of Divinity from 1976 to 1990, and is currently Chair of the Department of Justice Human Research Ethics Committee.

The book was a project of the Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy, with some of its board members contributing chapters. It is published by ATF Theology both as a book and as the final issue of the journal Interface.

 In his introduction as editor of the book, Peter Price outlined the range of the contributions, with Stephen Ames writing on the implications of human dignity. Bruce Duncan looked at what leading economists have been saying about the collapse of moral values. John D’Arcy May considered in his chapter the possibility of a “world theology” across religious boundaries. Rowan Ireland drew from his research on life in the favelas of Brazil, looking at the local impacts of globalisation.

Therese and James D’Orsa examined how younger people locate themselves in these processes of change and find new frameworks of meaning in their lives. Robyn Reynolds highlighted the growing recognition that all cultures and religions have valuable contributions to make to human wellbeing, especially inclusion for marginalised groups. And Wes Campbell drew from the famous German theologian Ernst Toeltsch, who foresaw some of the implications of processes of globalisation.

A World United or a World Exploited? Christian Perspectives on Globalisation can be purchased directly from the Yarra Institute or SPC for $20 each plus $5 postage.

Sufficient for the Day: towards a Sustainable Culture

Sufficient for the Day: towards a Sustainable Culture was officially launched on Thursday 15 September 2011.  A crowd numbering over 80 people gathered at Dymocks bookstore on Collins St in Melbourne to support the publication.

Guest speaker Dr Paul Mees, and the author of the publication, Geoff Lacey, spoke about the significance of the book. Dr Mees teaches and researches in the areas of transport planning and statutory planning at RMIT. To hear his address please click HERE.

A civil engineer, Geoff Lacey is also well known as a pioneering environmentalist and naturalist. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

This is the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy’s first publication as well as Groff Lacey’s first book since his landmark work on the ecology of the Yarra, “Still glides the Stream”: the Natural History of the Yarra from Heidelberg to Yarra Bend (2004). To hear a lecture delivered by Geoff Lacey to Social Policy Connections, please click HERE.

Young People, Faith and Social Justice

Young People, Faith and Social Justice

Dr Joan Daw’s book presents the findings of a research project of the Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy. Dr Kath Engebretson launched this important publication on 17 May 2013 at the Knox Centre in Melbourne. The project was part-funded with a grant from the Melbourne College of Divinity. Copies of the book are available for $20 each plus $5 postage from the Yarra Institute, PO Box 505, Box Hill, Victoria 3128, admin@yarrainstitute.org.au

Social Justice: Fuller Life in a Fairer World

Bruce Duncan shows how strongly the Church insists that concern for social justice is a core element of Christian faith, as is evident in the Scriptures and the life of Jesus. He then traces how the Church promotes social justice in our modern world, confronted by new problems, from climate change to economic crises. He sketches the history and key elements of social justice thinking.
Throughout the narrative powerful quotes encapsulate key themes, and the author sketches pen pictures of some of the champions of social justice, including key lay men and women. For even the popes did not develop their social encyclicals alone, but in response to the pioneering efforts of Christian activists.

Social Justice is beautifully illustrated and admirably suited for senior schools and social justice groups. It is available from the Yarra Institute for $25 plus $5 postage, at PO Box 505, Box Hill VIC 3128, or from Garratt Publishing.
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