DAN E-NEWSLETTER | NOVEMBER 2014
Included in this e-newsletter:
  • Keynote speakers at 2015 DAN Conference, 10-12 April, Somerville House, Brisbane
  • 32nd Issue of Dialogue Australasia Journal
  • 2015 DAN Membership and Dialogue Australasia Journal Subscription
  • The Pope on evolution and the Big Bang and Resources for God & Science
  • Technologies for unselfing our Selfie culture
  • New Journal of Philosophy in Schools
  • MA in Religious and Values Education, Charles Sturt University
I'm excited to share details of our excellent Keynote Speakers at the 2015 DAN Conference, including an afternoon with Michael Leunig...and hope you'll be inspired to confirm your attendance when Registrations open on 1 December.  

Go gently into these last weeks of term....
Belinda Hill, DAN EO
 
 
Further details about the 2015 DAN Conference will be posted on the DAN website,
and Registrations will open on 1 December 2014.
 
There is still scope to nominate to share a Workshop at the Conference.  
 Please do make contact with the DAN EO to discuss a workshop proposal.
 

For those of you wanting to include the 2015 DAN Conference in your PD budgets, the cost of
Full Registration will be approximately $575 for the 2.5 day Conference.

Boarding House accommodation in the excellent new facilities at Somerville House will be available to delegates, and there are Hotels to suit all budgets in South Bank, an easy walk from Somerville House.

 
 
32nd Issue, Nov 2015 Dialogue Australasia Journal - Out Now!

The 32nd Issue of Dialogue Australasia journal was posted to all current 2014 DAN Members and Journal Subscribers this week.  
 
If you have not received your copy (and 2015 Membership/Journal Renewal Invoice), please do contact the DAN EO.

Articles include:

  • The Act of Bible Reading: A Narrative Approach by Dr Rob Freathy, Dr Esther Reed, Dr Anna Davis – Exeter
  • Parables, Prodigals and Pedagogy by Prof Amy-Jill Levine – Nashville
  • Way of Truth and Justice: Understanding Islamic Law by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl – Los Angeles
  • The Relationship between Faith and Philosophy by Peter Williams – Southampton
  • To Infinity and Beyond – Exploring ‘Life as a Spiritual Journey’ in Middle School RE  by Dr Nicholas Coleman – Melbourne
  • What are they saying about… First Century Nazareth? by Dr Greg Jenks – Brisbane
  • Hannah Arendt and The Banality of Evil by Prof Ned Curthoys – Perth
  • Faith, Emotion and Wellbeing: A Modern Educational Imperative by Rev’d Chris Welsh – Canberra
  • Reviews: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics by Kenan Malik by Jonathan Sacks – London, Miriam Cosic – Sydney
View details of previous issues of Dialogue Australasia Journal and order back issues.
 
 
2015 DAN MEMBERSHIP & JOURNAL RENEWALS

2015 DAN Membership & Journal Renewal invoices were posted with your copy of the Nov 2015 Issue of Dialogue Australasia Journal.
 
Details of your password to access online resources on the DAN website were advised in the letter accompanying your journal, and will remain current until early 2015. If you have any difficulties accessing resources, please do contact the DAN EO.

 
 Last week, a friend said to me, 'I'm a Scientist, so I don't believe in God.'  How many of our students say or think similarly?  My friend happened to be of Irish Catholic heritage, and I was happy to share with her that Pope Francis had recently pronounced at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that the scientic theories of evolution and the Big Bang were not incompatible with the existence of a creator - arguing instead that they 'require it.'  
 
“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.  He added: “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.
 
“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”  
 
Read more of the article, which includes a short film clip of the Pope's talk.
 
Here are a couple of resources you might helpful when exploring the perennially relevant God/Science topic with your students:
 
 
 
In God Science, The Centre for Public Christianity gathers a group of highly qualified scientists, historians and philosophers to consider the place of faith in an age of science.  Some are not believers...all have something valuable to contribute to the debate. 

The short interviews make an ideal discussion starter with students.  Scholars interviewed include Oxford Professors John Lennox and Simon Conway Morris, philosopher Professor Alvin Plantinga and Australia's own Professor Edwin Judge.

God Science DvD, 2010, $20 from CPX 
 
You can access some (not all!) of the material from God Science on the excellent CPX website including:
The whole CPX site is a great repository of articles & videos offering a critical, Christian perspective on contemporary life. 

The Resource Library is organised under the following topics:  Big Questions, World Religions, Science & Faith, Ethics, Society & Politics, History, The Arts, Lives of Faith.  
 
 
RESOURCES for GOD'S NOT DEAD
 
In God's Not Dead, the undergraduate Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) finds himself in conflict with Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) on his course called 'Introduction to Philosophical Thought.' Radisson says that he wants to save time in debating the existence of God, and invites all the students to hand in a paper that simply contains the words 'God is Dead' so that he can then move on to other philosophical questions. However, Wheaton cannot write those words, and instead rises to the challenge of defending a belief in the existence of God with Radisson as the prosecutor and the students as the jury.

The film is not yet available on DvD in Australia, but Damaris have produced free resources including downloadable clips from the movie with suggestions for how they might be used, including background information on the apologetics involved.  The segments include:  Atheism and more, The Big Bang and the Bible, Who created God? A self-creating universe, Is God worth believing in?  
 
You can find these at: www.damaris.org/godsnotdead
 
 
 
Technologies for unselfing our Selfie culture
 
Jules Evans (Philosophy for Life) writes an excellent weekly digest.  
 
Recently he explored our addiction to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc - all technologies for Selfing - noting that 'with every post and tweet, we're making another little carving in the epic construction of our Public Self.' And when we wait to see how many likes we get, we've 'become 'slaves to the Public, just as Plato predicted we would become in liberal democracy. We twist, turn and contort ourselves to win the approval of the thousand-eyed God.'
 
Examining this blog with students could be a very provocative exercise.  
 
Evans goes on to ask...Is there another way? Plato thought that perhaps that we can go beyond the sucking black-hole of the ego, beyond the endless shadow-play of our ego-projections, and turn towards the shining reality of Truth, Beauty & Goodness.  Iris Murdoch, the Platonist philosopher and novelist, wrote about this. She called it ‘techniques of unselfing’. The opposite of Selfies, in other words. 
 
Murdoch writes in The Sovereignty of the Good:
 
The most obvious thing in our surroundings which is an occasion for ‘unselfing’ is what is popularly called beauty…I am looking out of my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel.
 
In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important. And of course this is something which we may do deliberately: give attention to nature in order to clear our minds of selfish care.
 
When we move from beauty in nature to beauty in art we are already in a more difficult region. A great deal of art, perhaps most art, is actually self-consoling fantasy, and even great art cannot guarantee the quality of its consumer’s consciousness. However, great art exists and is sometimes properly experienced and even a shallow experience of great art can have its effect. Art…affords us a pure delight in the independent existence of what is excellent.
 
I hope we will explore the possibilities for ‘unselfing’ before Art at the 2015 DAN Conference.  In the interim, read more of Jules Evan’s blog
 
 
 
New: Journal of Philosophy in Schools
 
Volume 1, Issue 1 of this new, open access journal for philosophy and education in Australasia is now live.  Check out this great resource.

 
 
MA in RAVE (Distance Education) - Charles Sturt University 

The MA in Religious and Values Education through CSU (new in 2014), offers an excellent, flexible, online study option for teachers looking to acquire and extend their knowledge in RaVE.  
 
The course begins with a study of recent national and international trends in RaVE, and then focuses on recent developments in major curriculum areas within the broad field of RaVE including teaching the Bible, philosophy of religion, religious ethics and world religions.
Students complete a semester of reflective professional practice before proceeding to advanced studies in either philosophical and ethical enquiry, or in media, popular culture and the arts. The capstone subject for the course is an individual research project in religious and values education.

 
Reminder!
REGISTRATIONS FOR THE 2015 DAN CONFERENCE OPEN 1 DECEMBER 2014
 

Contact the DAN Executive Officer

T|  08 9367 8903
A|  34 Douglas Ave  SOUTH PERTH WA 6151