Professor Charles Taylor to launch ACU thinktank

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Professor Charles Taylor
Professor Charles Taylor

Multiple prize-winning academic, author and thinker Professor Charles Taylor will launch Australian Catholic University’s Institute for Social Justice at the Opera House on 28 April.

Prof Taylor is a Canadian philosopher and political theorist whose writings on multiculturalism, secularism, modernity and identity have had a far-reaching influence in the fields of academia, government and policy formulation.

For those interested in the current directions of religion, society and culture he will deliver a public lecture, Secularism and Religious and Spiritual Forms of Belonging, at ACU’s Ryan Auditorium at North Sydney on 29 April.

Prof Taylor is a recipient of some of the biggest intellectual awards in the world, including the Templeton Prize for religion, the John W Kluge Prize (sometimes described as the Nobel Prize of the humanities and social sciences) and the Kyoto Prize, which honours those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind.

The Institute for Social Justice , which came into being in 2014, has a wide-ranging brief and describes itself as an institute devoted to rethinking social ideals and addressing current social justice issues through research and scholarship.

It has become ACU’s flagship thinktank for social justice and the common good, offering a range of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research programs designed to have significant academic and public impact.

“There is no one more appropriate to launch the institute at ACU than Charles Taylor, and we are deeply honoured by his recognition of ISJ as an important, intellectually sophisticated centre for the serious study of, and creative response to, the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century,” said the institute’s director, Prof Nikolas Kompridis.

The launch will feature a lecture by Prof Taylor on Secularism and Multiculturalism, discussing the ways in which a flawed understanding of secularism has produced a backlash against multicultural policies and religious minorities.

In his 29 April lecture on secularism, religion and spirituality, he will examine the opposing tendencies of religion in our times: the pluralisation of religious positions and the emergence of an ecumenical culture, on one side, and the use of religion as a marker of political identity and mobilisation, often accompanied by conflict and violence, on the other.

Professor Taylor has achieved a large and diverse readership through books such as Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition (1994), Sources of the Self (1989), and his magnum opus, A Secular Age (2007), hailed by the New York Times as “a work of stupendous breadth and erudition”.

Lecture registration is required. Phone (02) 9739 2789 or email [email protected]