“The Environment, Politics and Theology”

“The Environment, Politics and Theology” is an Emmanuel Centre seminar with Dr Chris Dalton on Friday 18 August, 12 noon till 1.50pm. The seminar will be held in the Riverview Room at Emmanuel College and includes lunch. RSVP here.

President Macron’s ironic response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord was “let’s make our planet great again.” The withdrawal of the US makes it clear just how hard it is to pursue global environment care policies that transcend national political interests. It also encourages reflection on Australia’s environmental policies. Can theology contribute to a debate that cuts across scientific, moral, economic and political boundaries?

It is notoriously hard to achieve legislative reform, especially where there is a strong, passionate debate that reflects competing commercial, ideological and personal interests. How do we find an acceptable policy balance between the rights of affected parties, ecologically sustainable development and economic growth?

Dr Dalton presents an approach based on imaginative apologetics, liberation theology, Australians’ relationship with the land and recognition that we live in a post-secular society. He suggests it is both timely and ethical to engage in a national conversation about embedding the rights of nature in environmental legislation. This, he argues, will stimulate reflection on the worldviews that shape how we relate to the world around us, and will therefore be a catalyst in a much needed ‘reimagining’ of environmental policies.


Dr Chris Dalton

Dr Dalton is a member of the Queensland Churches Environmental Network. Prior to his retirement, he worked for many years at a senior level in both the public and private sectors, advising on policy and regulatory issues. In 2015 he was awarded a doctorate by CSU for his thesis which explored how the church might provide a value-added input to the policy debate surrounding CSG mining. It was published in March 2017 under the title “From Terra Nullius to Beloved Companion: Reimagining Land in Australia.”  Further information can be found at


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