Over four days, our 20 plus speakers – philosophers and theologians, historians and writers, believers and non-believers – will consider what it means to be religious, and what role the voice of faith may legitimately have in the conversations of citizens in a multicultural, democratic state and the community of nations.
On Sunday, two keynote lectures from international guests each consider challenges posed by – and to – faith in the building of modern communities. Their lectures will be followed by panel discussions that open up the conversation.
Bernard Avishai is the final keynote speaker of the Faith and Culture series, talking about Jewish identity in the Hebrew republic of Israel. He is one of the world’s most respected commentators about Israel and the Middle East conflict and has published on the subject in the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the Nation, Harpers and New York Times magazine.
Following his keynote address, Avishai will be joined by a panel of local writers and thinkers. The panel will include Geoffrey Brahm Levey, foundation director of the UNSW Program in Jewish Studies and Arnold Zable, president of the Melbourne Centre of International PEN. John Baker, a graduate of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and president of Ameinu Australia, a roof body for moderate Zionism, will be participatory chair.
For the full text of this lecture plus transcripts and recordings of the series, visit our Faith and Culture archive.
Bernard Avishai is one of the world’s most respected commentators about Israel and the Middle East conflict. He has published dozens of articles in the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the Nation, Harpers and New York Times magazine.
Geoffrey Brahm Levey was the foundation director of the UNSW Program in Jewish Studies. He is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Social Sciences. His current research is in contemporary political theory, with special reference to multiculturalism, ethnicity, religion, nationalism, and citizenship.
Arnold Zable is a writer, novelist and human rights advocate, and one of Australia’s most-loved storytellers.
Johnny Baker is a Melbourne-based businessman who has held a number of leadership positions in the Melbourne Jewish community. A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he is a past President of the Zionist Council of Victoria (1988-1994), Mount Scopus Memorial College (1994-2004) and is currently President of Ameinu Australia (a roof body for progressive Zionists), President of Australian Friends of Yad Vashem and a member of the AIJAC Editorial Committee.