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Faith in Politics

October 27th, 2013

Episode 33 of 83 episodes

Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd are two of the most overtly devout leaders in recent political history. Julia Gillard is firmly atheist. So how do the religious beliefs of our leaders influence their work? Is it possible to separate faith and politics? And does it matter? Australia is a secular democracy, but the beliefs of our politicians sometimes conflict with party policies. Tony Abbott has said he has never made a political decision based on religious grounds, but his Catholicism informs much of his thinking. How do politicians resolve these tensions? And how have our political, social and religious institutions evolved over time? Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by World Vision CEO and former Baptist minister Tim Costello, and former deputy prime minister and Australia’s first Rome-based Ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer, to discuss Christianity and religion in modern Australia, and to ask just how closely religion and politics are intertwined. Podcast Can’t attend? You still don’t have to miss out. Download the podcast here (mp3, 28.7mb) – or subscribe from the Fifth Estate’s series page. The Fifth Estate The Fifth Estate is indispensible live journalism – the Wheeler Centre’s series of fortnightly forums hosted by broadcaster, journalist and anthropologist Sally Warhaft. Sally’s formidable intelligence, innate curiosity and savvy interviewing style draws the best out of her subjects, resulting in surprising revelations or even breaking news – but always, a riveting exchange of ideas. Recent events (all available via podcast on our website) include John Hewson and Kristina Keneally on the public purse, Peter Reith and Dan Mori on asylum seekers and Senator Kim Carr on the ALP.