Institute for Social Justice

News & Events

April 22-29th, 2016: Professor Charles Taylor at the Institute for Social Justice

Charles Taylor, one of the foremost thinkers of the last 50 years, recipient of the John W. Kluge Prize (the ‘Nobel Prize’ of the humanities and social sciences), the Templeton Prize,

The shells of the Sydney Opera House

and the Kyoto Prize, and numerous prestigious awards and honours, will visit Sydney to launch Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) at the Opera House on Thursday April 28.

The launch of ISJ will be punctuated by a lecture by Professor Taylor on “Secularism and Multiculturalism” in which he will discuss how a flawed understanding has secularism has produced a backlash against multicultural policies and religious minorities.

Established in 2014, the Institute for Social Justice reflects ACU’s commitment to social justice and the common good. It is comprised of innovative cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research programs, which will have maximum academic and public impact on matters that concern all human beings.

ISJ Director Nikolas Kompridis believes the ISJ will become the premier research institute of its kind in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

ISJ“There is no one more appropriate to launch the Institute for Social Justice at Australian Catholic University than Charles Taylor, and we are honoured by his recognition of ISJ as an emerging and significant intellectual centre for the rigorous study of, and creative response to, the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.”



During his stay at ISJ Professor Taylor will also deliver two public lectures at ACU’s North Sydney Campus: ‘The Language Animal’ on Friday 22 April and ‘Secularism and Religious and Spiritual Forms of Belonging’ on Friday 29 April.

In his first lecture, “The Language Animal” Professor Taylor rejects the narrow focus on the information-encoding function of language in order to illuminate the creative, meaning-making power of language.

In his second lecture,“Secularism and Spiritual and Religious Forms of Belonging” Professor Taylor critically examines the opposing tendencies of religion in our times: the pluralisation of religious positions and the emergence of an ecumenical culture, on one side, and the use of religion as a marker of political identity and mobilization, frequently accompanied by conflict and violence, on the other.215568_taylor


Professor Charles Taylor is a Canadian philosopher and political theorists whose writings on multiculturalism, secularism, modernity, and identity have had a huge and far-reaching influence not only on many academic fields but als oon governments, and policy makers.

Currently Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at McGill University, Montreal, Prof. Taylor has held honorary positions at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, and for several years was the Chichele Professor at Oxford University.

A philosopher and public intellectual of enormous range and depth, Professor Taylor has achieved a very large and diverse readership through the huge impact of such books as Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition (1994), Sources of the Self (1989),  and his magnum opus, A Secular Age (2007), hailed by the New York Times as “a work of stupendous breath and erudition.”


Charles Taylor on “The Language Animal”

When: 22 April 2016, 4:30pm -6:30pm, followed by casual reception

Where: Ryan Auditorium, ACU North Sydney Campus, 40 Edward Street, North Sydney

To RSVP please visit our events page


Charles Taylor on “Secularism and Religious and Spiritual Forms of Belonging”

When: 29 April 2016, 4:30pm -6:30pm, followed by casual reception

Where: Ryan Auditorium, ACU North Sydney Campus, 40 Edward Street, North Sydney

To RSVP please visit our events page ***Due to high demand registration has now been closed***

Back to news