ACTA (Australian Catholic Theological Association) – INSeCT’s Research Program
The Australian Catholic Theological Association held its 2016 conference in Melbourne from July 7 to 10, and adopted INSeCT’s 2014–2017 research theme as its primary focus. The ACTA conference theme: “Theological Contributions Toward Re-Imagining Gender Justice.” Three keynote sessions were held, the first a lecture by Sr. Mary John Mananzan OSB, from Manilla, entitled “Asian Feminist Theology from the EATWOT Perspective”; a second session led by Geraldine Hawkes, followed the methodology of receptive ecumenism: “Re-Imagining Women’s Participation in the Church through Receptive Ecumenism.” This session adopted a “fishbowl” format and involved six ACTA members who, in preparation, had engaged in dialogue with leaders and members of other churches, including the Uniting Church and the Lutheran Church, about their church’s path to recognizing the ministry and leadership of women. The third keynote session was multi-disciplinary, focusing on gender justice, with three speakers: Dr Veronica Lawson rsm (Biblical), Dr Maeve Heaney (Systematic), and Professor Robert Gascoigne (Moral). A lengthy and deeply engaged discussion ensued, with two formal proposals being made to the Doctrine and Morals Committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Almost all the other members’ papers delivered at the conference took up some angle on the INSeCT research theme.