Intellectual Lion Challenging Churches on Democracy
One of Australia’s most thought-provoking religious scholars will be in New Zealand next week to challenge current
thinking on the church’s relationship with the free market and democracy.
Dr Sam Gregg, Resident Scholar of The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), and director of its Religion and the Free
Society programme, will be visiting Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland between Monday December 4 and Wednesday
December 6, 2000.
Described by the Australian press as ‘an intellectual Lion’, ‘combative’ (The Australian) and ‘provocative’ (The
Australian Financial Review), Dr Gregg, 31, is a practicing Catholic who conducted his doctoral research at Oxford under
the supervision of Dr John Finnis, an outspoken critic of liberation theology.
Dr Gregg’s visit to New Zealand will include speaking arrangements with a wide variety of audeinces. He will present a
challenge to the prevailing secular assumption that religion, especially Christianity, and most particularly
Catholicism, is incompatible with classical liberal thought.
He argues that it is possible to be a sincere Christian and support the market economy, that markets can encourage
virtue and the acquisition of moral good as well as dealing with poverty. Dr Gregg concludes that the churches should
focus more about the moral-cultural dimension of human existence and the moral absolutes upon which every society
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2001, CIS is Australasia’s leading independent public policy research institute.
Founded in 1976 by CIS Executive Director Greg Lindsay, the Centre’s major concern is with the principles and
institutions underlying a free and open society, with particular focus on Australia and New Zealand. Based in Sydney, it
also has staff in Melbourne and Wellington.