Following on from the Royale Ormsby Martin Lecture entitled 'Teaching for Humanity' in 2016, we invited Dr Mark Stephens to address an Agora forum on the topic of ‘The Integrity of Commitment: Formation not Inoculation’.
The two talks have a great deal of synergy as we continue to consider the impact of secularism and our endeavour to present Christ in our Schools. It is no surprise to say that Western culture has substantially altered its relationship to religion. This has impacted the way education is framed and it has had a peculiar impact on faith-based schools. The greatest impact has been the shift in the way people think and the questions that are asked of, or about faith.
Has the art of respectfully discussing ideas been lost? This question was raised in the article Disagreeing Well, written by Stephen Kinsella, that discussed four foundational attitudes: the first three - listen well, maintain an open mind, and respect the person – apply to schools in general; the fourth - give reason for the hope you have – has particular application for discussion about the Christian faith.
In response to the positive feedback and interest in the article, a curated reference list of resources is provided to develop and support professional learning in our school communities. There may be benefits in incorporating these resources into staff professional learning sessions as they can form a framework for discussion and develop confidence amongst the school staff to engage with a culture of alternative perspectives in a post-Christian, post-churched world.
The concept of faith impacting on work has been in the news lately, with Scott Morrison’s faith being seen as a threat to democracy.
Well-known atheist Jane Caro tweeted that “Theocracies are terrifying, particularly for women and anyone who is different in any way. They are never democratic because they favour one group above all others - those who worship the ‘right’ god.”
This is an excerpt from the book 'Workship: How to Use your Work to Worship God' by Kara Martin.
I have two adult children. Jaslyn is 21, and Guy is 19. Right from the moment they were born I realised that I had to be careful in the way I thought about them. They are not my children, they are a gift from God.
God has given me stewardship over them for as long as I live. They are a beautiful and treasured gift, but I try and make sure I hold them lightly.