CACE acts as an ethical resource for the Anglican Diocese and local churches and individual Christians. We also seek to develop a wider engagement and dialogue in a number of arenas beyond the cloistered walls of the church. We have developed a Religion and Ethics stream and network for the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics. The Victorian Ethics Teachers Association is another body we belong to. The Director is particularly committed to and involved in equipping Christians to face the ethical dilemmas of professional life. We work with professional groups like Christian Lawyers and present Sunday–Monday Connection workshops to churches encouraging them to develop workplace ministries.
The Centre has made submissions to Federal and State government enquiries into cloning, homosexual marriage and adoption, racial and religious vilification. We are also building up resource files on a range of ethical issues in the college library for student and public use. Our only limits to having an even wider Christian engagement with Australian society and global ethical issues are time and money.
The Centre also benefits greatly from outstanding overseas speakers. Among them have been:
- Prof Ted Peters from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and the Director of the Templeton course program on science and religion who spoke on cloning
- Dr Michael Schluter, Director of the Relationships Foundation in Cambridge, UK
- Lindsay Tanner, MHR, our local member and at different times Australian Federal Shadow Finance and Communications Minister who focussed on The Public and Global Significance of Relationships and also The Nature of Government
- Prof Max Stackhouse of Princeton Seminary and Prof David Lyon of Queen’s University Kingston have spoken on Globalisation.
- Prof Colin Gunton of Kings College London has spoken on The Spirit, Created Order and its ethical implications.
Distinguished Australians who have spoken for us include Dr Ian Barns of Murdoch University’s Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Tim Costello, Pastor of Collins Street Baptist and media commentator, and Bishop Tom Frame, Anglican Bishop to the Defence Forces. Many of the college’s graduates and former residents have come back and blessed us with their professional expertise. Among them are Dr Denise Cooper-Clark, Dr Audrey Grant and Dr John Buchanan.
The major activities of the Centre include 3–4 lectures, seminars, half-day conferences per year which then flow into our quarterly newsletters which are available free from our website or mailing list. They, and other ethical contributions of the Centre are also found in other publications such Zadok Perspectives and Papers, Studies in Christian Ethics, Reformed Theological Review, The Melbourne Anglican, Alive, Evangelical Review of Theology, Journal of Christian Education, St. Mark’s Review etc.
Ridley Melbourne’s Centre of Applied Christian Ethics (CACE) was founded in 1996. It was set up to bring the ethical resources of Ridley Melbourne into engagement with the ethical issues of the university and the world.
CACE has not only been involved giving lectures and sponsoring conferences at Melbourne University but at LaTrobe, Swinburne and RMIT on topics such as globalisation, computer ethics, surveillance and border control. We also draw upon the expertise of many of our academic fellows and CACE conference speakers. We recognise, as Jurgen Moltmann says, that on many ethical issues, it is lay people who are the real experts.