Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

As religion declines, Australia needs a different ‘social glue’

Monday, October 16th, 2023

I recently mentioned the shrinking number of believers in Australia and discussed the increased diversity in the remaining faith pool. I received a surprisingly large number of requests to dive deeper into the topic of religion, to discuss the societal role of religion in more detail. As your humble demographic servant, I couldn’t possibly turn Read more

Climate change isn’t a crisis say US religious groups

Monday, October 9th, 2023
climate change

Climate change is not a crisis, according to many US religious groups and individuals. A new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey found beliefs on climate change severity haven’t changed much among religious groups over the past decade. The June 2023 “One Home One Future” survey is the latest multifaith effort aiming to engage congregations Read more

Social cohesion in New Zealand

Thursday, August 3rd, 2023
New Zealand's social fabric

Last month, a group of University of Auckland researchers released a report on social cohesion in Aotearoa New Zealand. A media release accompanying the report stated that social cohesion is under threat in this country. “[The] challenge of social cohesion is becoming increasingly critical, and more research and policy development is needed to help sustain Read more

Religion a luxury for the good, married, middle class

Monday, July 17th, 2023

I understand Christianity because Jesus was especially concerned with people on the margins of society. The sick, the poor, and the outcasts were high on his priority list. Thus, churches (being the extension of Jesus’ ministry), should focus their efforts on those exact same people. But the data says that is not happening. Just the Read more

Antarctica: Science and Faith – part 2

Monday, March 20th, 2023
Science and faith

In preparing to come to Antarctica, I had been told this was the most secular continent in the world, filled with scientists on a mission for discovery. But for those who are looking for spirituality, there is a lot to be discovered here too. I have spent three weeks at the South Pole Station with Read more

Church needs to rebuild trust

Thursday, February 9th, 2023
Vatican's top woman

The Vatican’s most influential woman, French nun Nathalie Becquart, is on a global mission to bring the Pope’s decision-making process closer to the laity. Being able to celebrate Mass isn’t the only way people can undertake leadership roles in the Church, she says. That global mission has led her to Australia to hear what Australian Read more

Beyond beliefs: does religious faith lead to a happier, healthier life?

Monday, December 5th, 2022

In his Pensées, published posthumously in 1670, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal appeared to establish a foolproof argument for religious commitment, which he saw as a kind of bet. If the existence of God was even minutely possible, he claimed, then the potential gain was so huge – an “eternity of life and happiness” – Read more

The religion of King Charles III

Monday, October 17th, 2022

As the supreme governor of the Church of England, King Charles III is expected to continue his mother’s friendship and esteem for the Catholic Church, but it will form just part of his broad interest in all Christian denominations, other world religions, and his seeming religious fervour for environmental concerns. The new monarch, who immediately Read more

A fitting memorial to conscientious objector: Archibald Baxter

Monday, August 22nd, 2022
conscious objector

The national memorial for conscientious objectors is a welcome addition to the steps above George St and Albany St, Dunedin. Since the official opening of the Archibald Baxter Peace Garden on October 29, 2021, the site has quickly established itself as an important national and local landmark. The central feature in the garden is a Read more

Religion’s search for belonging

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Among clergy and sociologists, film directors and songwriters it’s become practically a matter of cliché that people are searching for wholehearted belonging and not finding their needs met — the phenomenon, in short, behind the phrase “spiritual but not religious.” These people are setting out on an open-ended quest, on their own or with trusted Read more