Alienated Neighbours: Interpreting the Cronulla Race Riots for Christ's Sake.

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On December 11, 2005 the Sydney beach-side suburb of Cronulla was subject to the worst race riot and 'revenge raids' in Australian history. Its origins lay in the mutual suspicion of an Anglo-Celtic surfing culture espousing 'Australian values' and Lebanese youths of 'Middle Eastern appearance'. The explosive outburst had been fed for some time by the politics of fear and suspicion with respect to the Muslim / Middle Eastern other, public concern about attitudes towards women, and media populism. Those Australian values being defended were at times linked with a residual Christian influence. The purpose of this article is to explore the response of a public theology and consider how it might play its part in the nurturing of the public good, a civil society, and 'human flourishing'. The nature of a public theology is that it must be interdisciplinary and embedded in praxis. The case for a public theology is thus set within coverage of what transpired and interpretations emerging out of diverse forms of cultural studies.The Cronulla race riots of December 2005 furnish a case study for a discussion on the method, nature and purpose of a public theology. This study situates a theological reading alsongside those of several other disciplines. It draws upon international scholarship into the glocal nature of a public theology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalForum on Public Policy: a journal of the Oxford Round Table
Issue number2 (Summer 08)
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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