Cultural Diversity in Australia: Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2071.0  view on-line: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013

(This is the first of two posts reflecting on the 2011 Australian Census results.)

Here is a very select selection of Australian census stats, as they relate to my reddresstheology interests!

MIGRATION

27% of Australia’s population were born overseas and a further 20% have at least one parent who was born overseas, which means almost HALF of the nation are first or second generation Australians.

In the last four years we have welcomed more migrants from India (13%) than we have from the UK (12%) and seven out of the top 10 birthplaces for recent arrivals were from Asia.

RELIGION

61% of Australians identify themselves as Christian; 7% as religious of an other-than-Christian variety;
and 22% as having no religion at all.  A further 9% simply didn’t answer the question!

There are now more no-religionists in Australia (22%) than there are Anglicans (17%)
and if you add to that the number of Australians who simply ignored the religion box (31%) that is more than the number of Catholics in the nation (25%).

MARRIAGE

49% of adult Australians are currently married plus a further 10% declare themselves to be in a de facto relationship; 11% are separated or divorced and 6% are widowed.
That means around a third of Australians over the age of 18 are currently not, and never have been, married.

Religion and Spirituality, edited by Martin Dowson and Stuart Devenish

I recently reviewed a Sociology of Religion text for Crucible, an Australian on-line journal on theology and ministry which is under the auspices of the Australian Evangelical Alliance.  Religion and Spirituality, edited by Martin Dowson & Stuart Devenish (Information Age Publishing, 2010).  It is a volume in a series called, International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice.

Religion and Spirituality is a collection of research essays on this theme in educational contexts.  The basic question is how does spirituality and/or religion work to raise issues of social justice in educational contexts.  To read the whole review go through to Crucible here.  The 3 sentence summary is:

This collection of essays on ‘Religion and Spirituality’ maps some of the terrain for the argument reintegrating spirituality and religion with our efforts towards a stable and just society. “From the 1950s onward, in response to the perceived failings of modernity (eg. War; depression, global inequality, environmental degradation), attempts to bring together education and, at lest, generic values or morals increased… Religious educations were confronted with the challenge of bringing together the secular and the sacred, even as science and religion grew ever more distant from one another” (viii).

The journal has some creative thinkers working on it and is worth checking out:

Crucible’s aim is to enhance creative  thinking about the relationship of biblical and theological truths to the life, ministry and mission of the church. It is a forum for scholars and practitioners to publish material, interact and resource the Christian community. 

Crucible publishes three types of material:

  • The Cauldron:  formal, academic, ‘blind’ peer reviewed scholarly articles.
  • The Test-tube: ministry resources related to the life, ministry and mission of the church. 
  • The Filter:  book reviews