About a hundred reflective-practitioners of mission met for a conference on "Christian Mission in the Public Square" at the Australian Centre for Christianity & Culture (ACC&C) in Canberra from 2 to 5 October 2008.
It was the first national conference of the Australian Association for Mission Studies and was held in conjunction with the Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) Research Centre at Charles Sturt University.
Nearly forty papers were given, from all streams of mission studies, including public theology, global mission, mission history, contextual mission and congregational mission. A special mission history stream continued the tradition of previous missionary history conferences run by Ian Welch at the Australian National University . Selected papers will be published in the Australian Journal of Mission Studies (if submitted).
The keynote speaker was Professor Nico Koopman, Director of the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and a key player in the Global Public Theology Network.
The former governor of Western Australia and former head of the Australian Army, Lt-General John Sanderson, addressed the conference dinner on indigenous affairs, in which he is actively engaged encouraging spirituality and reconciliation through dialogue.
AAMS and PaCT were very grateful to the following financial sponsors of the conference: