50 episodes

The Centre for Public Christianity aims to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith. The Centre offers free comment, interviews, and other web based material. For more information go to publicchristianity.org.

Life & Faith Centre for Public Christianity

    • Christianity
    • 4.8, 190 Ratings

The Centre for Public Christianity aims to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith. The Centre offers free comment, interviews, and other web based material. For more information go to publicchristianity.org.



    We’ve all been learning some things about ourselves in lockdown.
    “There’s this other layer from my experience where there was this emotional exhaustion of video calls. I’ve never wanted to miss catching up with people, I’ve always loved it. And so the experience of having catch-ups with people and feeling really emotionally exhausted at the end of that was new. Potentially it’s the experience of an introvert more consistently! So feeling drained by catching up with people was surprising and in some ways disappointing and confusing.”
    Over the last decade or two there’s been a “quiet revolution” going on, in the words of Susan Cain, introvert and deliverer of one of the most watched TED talks of all time, “The power of introverts”. Where there was once a bias in favour of extroversion - in social settings, and in the workplace - now the pendulum seems to have swung the other way, and introversion seems to get a lot of the attention.
    In this episode, Simon and Natasha wander into the minefield that is personality typing, reveal their own complicated relationship with the introversion/extroversion distinction (and what it “actually” means), and ask people how their experience of self-isolation has been during Covid. And Robyn Wrigley-Carr, a lecturer in theology and spirituality, takes us back 500 years to unpack the inner life - and outward impact - of Teresa of Avila. She urges us all - introvert and extrovert alike - to be attentive to our own lives.
    “I think diversity and uniqueness of response is huge here, because there's no one way to live an effective life, and each of us works out how to do it from being in the nitty gritty of life and through engaging, and suffering, and hard stuff.”
    In this episode:
    How to Care for Your Introvert (language warning)
    The Power of Introverts

    • 33 min
    Brick Bats and Bouquets: Malcolm Turnbull’s Very Public Life

    Brick Bats and Bouquets: Malcolm Turnbull’s Very Public Life

    A candid conversation with Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on career, politics, religion and leadership.
    On this episode of Life & Faith, Simon Smart and Tim Costello are joined by Malcolm Turnbull, the 29th Prime Minister of Australia. His recent autobiography, ‘A Bigger Picture’, is a riveting read following Turnbull’s life from his childhood in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, his colourful career as a journalist, lawyer for Kerry Packer and merchant banker, and his turn to politics. 
    This book is much more than a political memoir; it is a candid and compelling insight into Turnbull’s life and the workings of Canberra. 
    Simon and Tim talk to him about this book, his eventful life and politics and religion in Australia. 
    'I really do believe in collective leadership. And I know a lot of people say that I've got a very high opinion of my own opinions... I do have a higher opinion of my own opinions, but I've always believed my opinions can be improved and advanced by listening to others... And it would get criticised sometimes by people in the press who would say, “Oh he's indecisive.” I said, “Where's the indecision?” What they're complaining about is that I didn't make every decision flying from the seat of my pants.'

    • 33 min
    Ode to Teachers

    Ode to Teachers

    We honour another class of “essential” workers during COVID: teachers. 
    “What I’d really love parents to know is that most of us, we’re invested in your children. This is such an important job because you’re developing human beings. We’re here to develop the most important thing in your life, your child.”
    Nigel was discouraged from becoming a teacher, but discovered it was the right fit for him. Sarah didn’t want to be an English teacher like her dad, but was hooked from the first time she stepped into the classroom. 
    When you’re a student, teachers can seem remote. But, as it turns out, they share the pain of their students. Evan says the death of a child is crushing for the whole school community. Marcel tells us the difference a kind word can make to a struggling student. 
    At face value, teachers instruct students. But many invest in students in ways that go far beyond the classroom - and they tremble at the impact they can have on young people’s lives. 
    In this Life & Faith, we pay tribute to another class of “essential workers” during COVID: teachers.

    • 30 min
    Rebroadcast: The Long Shadow of Slavery

    Rebroadcast: The Long Shadow of Slavery

    A confronting - and deeply personal - look at the roots of racial division in the US.
    “We still live under the long shadow of the plantation. Indeed, freedoms have been spread to a larger group of people over time, but that spread has been at the cost of ongoing oppression of black people in ways that have become very apparent thanks to video cams and cell phones that betray the brutality of the police state that we sometimes live in as black people.”
    With the events of recent weeks – the Death of George Floyd, the Black lives matter protests all over the U.S. and around the world, including here in Australia, we felt this episode would be a good one to revisit.
    When we first posted it, we were reflecting on the death of black teenager Travon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman and the fallout from that tragedy. Sadly, it seems not much has changed.
    In this episode of Life & Faith, Professor Albert J. Raboteau from Princeton University, an expert in the African-American religious experience, walks us through the history of race relations in the US, and the deep roots of racial division – from the plantations to the Black Lives Matter movement today.
    But he’s not just an expert – Professor Raboteau has lived the reality of racism as well:
    “My father was killed by a white man in Mississippi, three months before I was born. The white man who killed him was never tried. He claimed self-defence and he wasn’t indicted even. … When I was 17 and getting ready to go off to college, [my mother and stepfather] sat me down and, for the first time, explained to me what had happened.  They said, ‘The reason we didn’t tell you before was we didn’t want you to grow up hating white people’.”

    For The Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined is available here: https://www.publicchristianity.org/fortheloveofgod/

    • 22 min
    We are all Christian now!

    We are all Christian now!

    Author Tom Holland explores the revolutionary and enduring influence of Christianity. 
    British writer, Tom Holland, has written many books, both fiction and non-fiction, on subjects ranging from dinosaurs to medieval history to vampires! 
    His latest book Dominion: The making of the Western Mind is a 500-page masterpiece. It's a story of how we came to be what we are, and how we think the way that we do. It recounts the history and enduring influence of Christianity.
    Holland is not a believer himself but argues that our western moral and social instincts are traced inexorably to early Christianity and the writings of the Apostle Paul. “I can't think of any piece of writing that has kind of had a more seismic influence on the world, almost everything that makes the Western society what it is and certainly makes me what I am, when I trace it back, it goes back basically to Paul,” says Holland.
    Dominion by Tom Holland

    • 30 min
    Wrestling with Paul

    Wrestling with Paul

    Renowned Australian author Christos Tsiolkas talks about the personal experiences that lead him to choose early Christianity and the Apostle Paul as the subject of his latest book Damascus.
    In this episode of Life & Faith Christos Tsiolkas, author of provocative and disturbing stories like ‘The Slap’ and ‘Barracuda’, speaks with Simon Smart about his latest novel, Damascus. Tsiolkas grew up in a Greek Orthodox family – his Mum a devoted believer - but as a young gay man - Tsiolkas felt he could not reconcile faith with his sexuality. He has had a life-long wrestle with the Apostle Paul. At a time of deep personal despair in his 20s he came back to reading Paul and what he found was “solace, compassion and understanding.”
    Tsiolkas says he no longer believes the central myths of Christianity but retains a deep interest in its influence and central concepts.  His book is confronting and controversial—extremely so in parts. But it provides a compelling and stunning imaginative life in the 1st century Graeco-Roman world and what happened when that world collided with the teachings of an obscure Jewish Rabbi, who’d been executed on a Roman cross.
    Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
190 Ratings

190 Ratings

Old Stick 5 ,

Old Stick

These are terrific thoughtful reflections about life and our journey. The courage to walk on paths which are uncomfortable is always impressive and spiritually enhancing.

Bamei 200 ,


I love these podcasts! Topics are fascinating and discussion always very thoughtful and measured. Thank you!

AliMcFally ,

Exercise for the mind

Very thought provoking , challenging and insightful. esay to listen to. I listen to it on my way home from work in the car. Makes sitting in traffic enjoyable

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