Centre for Ethics
For more than 21 years, the Centre for Ethics at Christ Church Grammar School has been engaged in a conversation with the world beyond the School. The Centre has welcomed speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds: philosophers, theologians, members of parliament, novelists, poets, educators, leaders who model an ethical way of life (some famous, others not) those who work actively to change the world, those who place more emphasis on reflection. It is a long list.
Many of our guests are members of the Anglican Communion. These include a former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishops of Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Cape Town and Singapore. Dozens of Anglican bishops and priests have addressed us on topics ranging from human rights to the significance of dreams in forming a personal spirituality. We have been encouraged to support agencies such as Anglicare and the Australian Board of Mission. We have had Buddhist monks creating sand mandalas, sufis linking dance with prayer, Hindu holy men drawing on the insights of the Bhavagad Gita, rabbis speaking about the Holocaust, imams explaining the Five Pillars of Islam. We have also heard from some of the “new atheists” including AC Grayling and the controversial writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Writers with a profound interest in spirituality have spoken of their work. These include Tim Winton, Louis de Bernieres, Annie Prouxl, John Marsden, Helen Garner, Alice Pung as well as poets such as Les Murray and Bruce Dawe.
We have heard from Tan Le, James Fitzpatrick, Akram Azimi, Fred Chaney, John van Bockxmeer, Bruce Robinson, Liam Bartlett, Hugh Mackay, David Suzuki, Fiona Stanley, Scott Neeson, Pat Dodson, John Howard, Tim Fischer, Barry Jones, Kim Beazley, Geoff Gallop, John Anderson and from Radio National’s Norman Swan, Robyn Williams, Jane Figgis and Phillip Adams. Again the list goes on.
“The Director of the Centre for Ethics, Frank Sheehan, frequently goes back to the model of conversation as a way of “doing ethics”. He sees this as pivotal to the task of building good men who can ask powerful questions, think critically, look with compassion, and take action to bring about a world marked by choices; choices made upon strong ethical foundations and a spirituality characterised by hope and love.” Alan Jones, Principal, Christ Church Grammar School.