Friday 25 October, 2007
Is Christianity an asset or danger to Australia's future?
Event: Annual Smith Lecture at The MCA, Rocks Sydney.
Time: 6pm cocktails for a 7pm lecture

Dr Greg Clarke to speak on: "Outgrowing Religion...is Christianity an asset or a danger to Australia's future?"

Dr Greg Clarke is a Founding Director of the newly established Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney and Director of Macquarie Christian Studies Institute at Macquarie University.

As our nation thinks about its future in the context of the impending Federal election, we have for the first time in recent memory, a labor leader who has confidently founded his leadership in the Christian social justice tradition. Yet renowned atheist Richard Dawkins' recent and widely heard challenge is that religion is childish and unnecessary in the contemporary world.

Whilst Christianity may be the often-unacknowledged matrix of Australian culture we nevertheless must chart a future. Can and should we step beyond our Christian past? If we do, then what might we grow up into? What would our future look like?

Even renowned secular thinkers (Jurgen Habermas and Richard Rorty) have acknowledged that the Christian vision for a good society is a superior one and that there may indeed be no other equally powerful and comprehensive way of understanding human existence that can undergird civilisation.

Dr Clarke will examine these extraordinary claims from non-Christian intellectuals as he considers whether religion, in particular, Christianity, is something we need to outgrow.

The first Annual Smith Lecture was given by Peter Jensen, Sydney's Anglican Archbishop in 2001 in honour of a great citizen and thinker of Sydney, Bruce Smith. Last year's address was given by Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford, internationally renowned speaker, author and debater of Richard Dawkins.

Further Information Printed copies of the Smith Lecture are available upon request to representatives of the media from: contact@outreachmedia.org.au.

Requests to speak with Dr Clarke should be directed to Peter Kaldor, the chair of the Smith Lecture on: 0409 457 259. To register to attend the lecture, please go to www.smithlecture.org or call 02 9232 8700.