Religion & Global Ethics (RGE)

The Religion & Global Ethics (RGE) research focus area examines the dynamics of world politics through the actors, interests, ideas and traditions of religion. The research focus area has two streams:

  1. Tradition and Political Practice. This research stream is focused on the resources and agency of religious traditions in the political realm.
  2. Religion and International Relations. This research stream is focused on the interaction of religious actors and institutions with world politics and society.

The study of religion and politics is one of the fastest growing areas of research in the humanities and social sciences. IES staff and supporters in the Religion and Global Ethics program are engaged in projects to expand scholarly knowledge, deepen policy engagement and enhance community life in Australia and internationally.


  • Convenor: Dr Rosemary Hancock (Lecturer & IES Research Associate)
  • IES Researchers: Associate Professor John A Rees (IES Acting Director)
  • Affiliates: Dr Daniel Baldino (School of Politics & International Relations)
  • Higher Degree Research candidates:
    • Christian Santos – PhD
    • Marianne Rozario – PhD
    • Kiara Pirola – PhD
    • Cormac McCaughan – MPhil

Annual Religion and Global Ethics Lecture

Adrian Pabst (2018)
University of Kent

Erin Wilson (2017)
University of Groningen

Elizabeth Shakman-Hurd (2016)
Northwestern University

RGE Symposia

2018 RGE Research Seminar      

  • Dr Brian Adams, Center for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue at Griffith University: Interfaith Dialogue in an Age of Intolerance
  • Dr Anna Halafoff, Deakin University: Education & Religious Diversity in Australia.
  • Prof Marion Maddox, Macquarie University: ‘What do we want? Religion Freedom! When do we want it? Sometimes!’
  • A/Prof John Rees, IES: ’Beyond Jubilee: Feeding, Healing & Anti-Populism in Luke 4:16-30’
  • Dr Matthew Tan, Notre Dame Australia: ‘Prayer as Political Theory’

Book Launch

Further information

  • Publications

    Books & Chapters

    Rosemary Hancock (2018).
    Islamic Environmentalism: Activism in the United States and Great Britain. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

    From the publisher: Islamic Environmentalism examines Muslim involvement in environmentalism in the United States and Great Britain. The book focuses upon Muslim activists and Islamic organizations that approach environmentalism as a religious duty: offering environmental readings of Islamic scriptures, and integrating religious ritual and practice with environmental action.

    Journal Articles

    Rees, J. A. and Smartt, T. (2018) “Beyond Religious Freedom: Asia-Pacific Engagements with Elizabeth Shakman Hurd”
    Journal of Religious and Political Practice Volume 4, Issue 1 (in press) )

    DOI: 10.1080/20566093.2017.1396091

    John A. Rees & Tim Smartt, eds. (2018) Journal of Religious and Political Practice, Special Issue: 'The Politics of Religious Freedom in the Asia-Pacific', Vol 4, Issue 1.

    A special issue edited by IES researchers John A. Rees and Tim Smartt featuring articles from Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern), Atalia Omer (University of Notre Dame), Iza Hussin (Cambridge), Thomas DuBois (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Benjamin Schonthal (Otago), Miranda Johnson (Sydney), Rosemary Hancock (The University of Notre Dame Australia), and Iselin Frydenlund (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo).

    Rees, J. (2017, 11th February)
    ‘The Prince, the Pope and a Populist Moment’, E-International Relations
    Rees, J.A. (2017) ‘Religion and Culture’ in S. McGlinchey, ed., International Relations: A Beginner’s Guide (Bristol, UK: E-International Relations), pp.98-111.
    Rees, J.A. (2017)
    ‘Intersectionality, International Relations and the Possibility of Religion Policy’,
    Politics, Religion & Ideology, 18:1, 100-103.

    John A. Rees, ed. (2017)
    Philippiniana Sacra, Special Issue: ‘Reading Laudato Si’ in Asia and the Pacific’ (September-December), vol. LII, no.157.

    Stefania Rawson (2017) ‘Pope Francis’ Affirmative Ecology for Pacific Island Indigenous Community’. Philippiniana Sacra (September-December), vol. LII, no.157, 877-896.

    A special issue drawing together an international collection of essays published in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas and the Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities.