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Progressive Christianity: A Secular Response.

Sea of Faith in Australia  (SoFiA)

 The SoFiA Network promotes the open exploration of religion, spirituality and meaning.

‘Sea of Faith’ is not a church, but a network of people who are seeking a radical reappraisal of past religious traditions in order to meet today’s spiritual challenges.  The Network affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice even though it acknowledges that religion, like art and poetry, is a purely human creation.


SoFiA Network Website –  

Don Cupitt Website –

Lloyd Geering, Wikipedia – 

SoFiA Victoria email – 

Victorian Convenor – Chantal Babin.  Mobile: 0434 713 335

SoFiA Network Website:  Members and non-members – You are encouraged to comment on the Articles and Blogs, as well as to participate in the on-going discussions in the Blog Archives.


LECTURES – Thursdays, 7.30pm.  Gold coin donation appreciated.

Lectures are followed by questions, discussion and refreshments.  ALL viewpoints are welcome.

VENUE: Carlton Library Meeting Room, corner Rathdowne and Newry Streets, North Carlton.  Melways 2B J2.


17 June 2010

Alex McCullie  (Tutor, Council for Adult Education – )

“Progressive Christianity: A Secular Response.”

This public lecture will be presented to the Melbourne Sea of Faith Network by Alex McCullie (Tutor, Council for Adult Education) at 7.30pm Thursday 17th June 2010 at the Carlton Library.  All are welcome.  Gold coin donation appreciated.

Alex McCullie comments:

“Jack Spong, Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, and Australia’s Francis Macnab are all popular spokespeople for a newer form of an old religion, Progressive Christianity.  Criticised by skeptics and conservatives alike as being Christianity without substance or as a ‘religion-lite’ (Dan Jones, The Guardian, 9 Aug. 2009), Progressive Christianity seeks to retain many Christian practices – churches, texts, prayers, hymns, and services – while removing most of the traditional theology.  God becomes an essence and Jesus becomes a remarkable person.  Gone are the somewhat unpalatable interventionist God, God-like (or is that God-is?) Jesus, God-authored scriptures, and God-based morality.  With Progressive Christianity they are beliefs of the past.  Though, interestingly and, perhaps, surprisingly the advocates often argue that Christian theology never held these beliefs in the first place.

The indifference and moderate skepticism of today’s secular society presents a hostile environment for traditional religious organisations.  The dominance of the public non-religious sphere provides little room for religious perspectives and viewpoints, and serious declines in church attendances reflect the malaise faced by most religious organisations.  So how will a modernised Christian theology combined with traditional practices incorporated within a framework of progressive social activism shape up in our modern, science and technology dominated world?”

In his lecture Alex McCullie will initially examine the nature of our secular society and the historical transformations forced on religious organisations.  In the second part Alex will survey the commonly-held beliefs of many progressive Christians and differentiate those from the somewhat earlier liberal Christians.  And, finally, he will situate Progressive Christianity into today’s world and speculate about its future.  (For further comments on this topic – )

Alex is currently conducting a CAE course on, “Searching for the Historical Jesus” –

15 July 2010

Rick Barker  (Philosophy Forum)

“Living with our genetic/epigenetic inheritances: Do you have a ‘ghost’ in your genome?”

19 August 2010

Rev. Dr. John Bodycomb  (Progressive Christian Network – )

“Is science a surer way to God than religion?  Is Paul Davies right?”

( 17-19 September 2010 – Friday to Sunday.          

  SoFiA National Conference –

   Alexandra Headland Conference Centre, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

  “Ethics without God?  Exploring a secular basis for our ethics.”  

  Speakers  –  Lloyd Geering, Theologian.  Neville Symmington, Psychoanalyst.  Gail Tulloch, Bioethics.)

23 September 2010  

John Noack  (Carl Jung Society – )

“Pre-Nicean Syriac Christian Kingdoms:  Edessa, Adiabene and Armenia.”

21 October 2010

John Davidson  (Steiner School, Canberra – )

“Spirituality Within Steiner Education.”

18 November 2010

Dr. Christopher Gribbin  (Classics & Archaeology, University of Melbourne)

“Classical Mythology and Greek Religion.”

9 December 2010  

Dr. Robert Miller  (Philosophy, RMIT University) –

“Buddhist Existentialism, Socratic Philosophy, Zen Emptiness and a Postmodern Poetics of Bliss.”

17 February 2011

Rev Dr Paul Tonson

“Your karma has run over my dogma: Biblical affirmation of pluralism.”

17 March 2011

Mario Laing

“Oneness Blessing.”

21 April 2011

Ian Robinson  (Rationalist Society of Australia – )

“Atheism as a Spiritual Path.”

19 May 2011

Dr. Diana Cousens  (Former Vice-Chair, Buddhist Council of Victoria – )

“Peace:  A Buddhist Perspective.”

June 17, 2010
June 17, 2010
Carlton Library
North Carlton United States
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