RE ATAR Unit 4: role Religion plays in the public life of Australia or another nation

Religion in Australian Public Life Today

Community Services

Religion in Australia

Church and State

Religion in Public Life

In broad terms the concept of public life refers to the political life of a nation. This concept is much bigger than just government and decision making. It involves all the processes by which a society discusses, debates and decides important issues. In the context of religion and the role it might play in the public life of a particular society a range of questions might be asked. However, such questions will vary from society to society. In western societies such as Australia the following questions might be asked:
  • What place should religion and the beliefs, practices and values of a religion have in public discussion, debate and decision making?
  • Has the phrase “separation of Church and State” lost its meaning in the twentieth century?
  • To what extent should an individual’s spiritual and religious beliefs inform their political life?
  • Is there a necessary link between religious belief and moral action?
  • Should society support religions and the activities of religions?
  • Are "we" a religious or a secular country; and if religious, in what way/or should there be a preferred religion, why or why not?
The role any religion plays in a society will always be contextual. That is, the particular culture, history and people that make up a particular society will always determine the particular way in which any religion plays a role in the public life of that society.

Role of Religion

Summary of religious affiliations in Australia from the 2016 Census.