Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Professor Marion Maddox

MHPIR - Marion Maddox

Phone: (02) 9850 7032
Office: Building
W6A Room 424


BA Hons (Sydney, 1988)
PhD (Flinders, Theology, 1992)
PhD (UNSW, Philosophy, 2000)

Research Interests

Religion and politics; religion and law; religion and citizenship; religious diversity; religious freedom; democracy, difference and inclusion; Durkheim.


Marion Maddox is the leading authority on the intersection of religion and politics in Australia. She holds PhDs in theology (Flinders 1992) and political philosophy (UNSW 2000), and has taught Australian politics and religious studies in universities in Australia and New Zealand.

As the 1999-2000 Australian Parliamentary Fellow, she interviewed some fifty serving and retired federal Members and Senators about their views on faith and public life, resulting in For God and Country: Religious Dynamics in Australian Federal Politics (Canberra: Parliament of Australia 2001).

Her landmark work, God Under Howard: The Rise of The Religious Right in Australian Politics (Sydney: Allen & Unwin 2005), was 'an exemplary case study of the interaction between religion and politics in Australia today' (Times Literary Supplement).

'Taking God to School: The End of Australia's Egalitarian Education will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.'

"Marion Maddox is challenging all Australians about the kind of society we want for the future. There is much at stake here and this makes Taking God to School essential reading." -- Peter Garrett, Sydney Review of Books, May 2014,


Current & Recent Positions

2011-2015 ARC Future Fellow, 'Religion, State and Social Inclusion'

2008 - 2011 Director, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, Sydney

2006-7 - Reader, Religious Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

2001 - Senior Lecturer, Religious Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

2000 - Lecturer, Religious Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

1999 - Australian Parliamentary Fellow, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, providing research services for the Social Policy and Politics and Public Administration groups, and writing For God and Country

1997-8 - Lecturer, Australian Politics, University of Adelaide, Australia

1993-6 - Senior Lecturer, Religion Studies, University of South Australia

1992 - Lecturer, Religion Studies, University of South Australia

Major Research Grants

2012-2014 ARC Discovery Project 'Religion and Political Thought' (with R. Boer, C. Hartney, G. Boucher, M. Sharpe, $122,000)

2011-2015 ARC Future Fellowship 'Religion, State and Social Inclusion: Lessons from Schools in Three Countries' ($697,357)

Major Publications

Books (single authored)

2014. Taking God to School: The End of Australia's Egalitarian Education? Sydney: Allen & Unwin 2014.

" ... a timely, important and powerfully argued call to defend our secular system." Sydney Morning Herald 15-16 February 2014

2005. God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

"A troubling expose ... Maddox's book deserves the widest readership - particularly among political commentators." Age 26 February 2005

2001. For God and Country: Religious Dynamics in Australian Federal Politics. Canberra: Department of the Parliamentary Library. 

"This innovative and perceptive study will prove valuable to anyone interested in the inner workings of Australian federal politics" Australian Journal Political Science 37(3) 2002

Books (co-authored)

1993. Myth, Ritual and the Sacred: Introducing the phenomena of religion Adelaide: Texts in Humanities (co-authored with Norman Habel and Michael O'Donoghue).

Short Monographs and Online Publications

2010 (with Amanda Wise et al) Political Participation of Muslims in Australia Canberra: Department of Immigration and Citizenship

2006. 'A Case for Public Theology in Secular Contexts', University of Auckland School of Theology, annual public lecture.

2006. 'God and New Zealand Public Life', Ferguson Lecture, Auckland.

2001. Indigenous Socioeconomic, Indicators, Benefits and Expenditure, Research Papers Online, Canberra: Department of the Parliamentary Library (co-authored with John Garden, Peter Yeend and Coral Dow).

2000. Indigenous Religion in Secular Australia, Research Paper 11, 1999-2000, Canberra: Department of the Parliamentary Library.

Edited Collection

1998. Guest-edited special issue of Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. 11 No. 2, themed issue Religion and Politics.

Refereed Articles

2015 "Religion and Governance: Australia" Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 25(1) 2015

2014 "Religious Intervention in a Naïve Polity: The Australian Christian Lobby" Political Theology 15(2) 132-50

2014 "Finding God in Global Politics" International Political Science Review (Editors' Choice issue), doi:10.1177/0192512113509419, 
available online,

2013 "Prosper, Consume and Be Saved" Critical Research on Religion 1(1) 108-115.

2013 '"Rise Up Warrior Princess Daughters": Is evangelical women's submission a mere fairytale?' Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 29(1) 7-23

2012 'God Under Gillard: What difference does it make when the nation's leader is an atheist?' Uniting Church Studies 18(2), 51-64

2012 '"In the Goofy Parking Lot": Growth churches as a novel religious form for late capitalism' Social Compass 59(2) 146-158

2012 'Les dynamiques politiques en Australie : religion et politique dans un syst
ème laïque' Pouvoirs 141, 51-64

2011 'Are Religious Schools Inclusive or Exclusive?' International Journal of Cultural Policy 17(2), 170-186

2011 'A Secular Cancellation of the Secularist Truce: Religion and Political Legitimation in Australia' Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion Vol 2 287-308

2011 'The Church, the State and the Classroom: Questions Posed by an Overlooked Sector in Australia's Education MarketUniversity of NSW Law Journal Forum 34(1): 300-314

2011. 'Are Religous Schools Socially Inclusive or Exclusive? An Australian Conundrum' International Journal of Cultural Policy 17(2): 170-186

2009. 'Exploring Religion and Politics: Introduction' Australian Religion Studies Review 22(3): 322-323

2009. 'An Argument for More, Not Less, Religion in Australian Politics' Australian Religion Studies Review 22(3): 345-367

2009. 'Back Room Religion' (refereed Review Essay) Australian Review of Public Affairs March

2008. 'The Right Hand of God and the Left Hand of God' (refereed Review Essay) Australian Review of Public Affairs May

2007. 'Religion, Secularism and the Promise of Public Theology' International Journal of Public Theology 1, pp 85-103.

2005. 'Howard's Methodism: How convenient?!' Journal of Australian Studies 82, pp 93-106 This article, which appeared in print in December 2004, was the featured article on the Journal of Australian Studies web page in Oct 2005.

2004. 'People Like That": Race, Religion and Values in Recent Australian Political Rhetoric', Proceedings of the Australasian Political Studies Association 2004 Conference.

2003. 'God, Caesar and Alexander', Australian Quarterly Vol. 75 No. 4, pp 4-9.

2002. 'All In the Family: Women, Religion and the Australian Right' (2002 Penny Magee Memorial Lecture) Australian Religion Studies Review Vol. 15 No. 2, pp 13-28.

2001. 'Blackleg Churches? The changing relationship between religion and executive government' (2001 Presidential Address to the Australian Association for the Study of Religions) Australian Religion Studies Review Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 5-16 (An abridged version of this article reprinted in Pointers Vol. 12 No. 1 2002; the full version is reprinted in 2002 in Brian Howe and Philip Hughes, eds, Spirit of Australia vol II).

2001. 'Whatever Happened to Equality?' Social Alternatives Vol. 20 No. 3 pp. 14-18.

2000. '"With Hope in God": The Preamble Debate, Religion and Public Values' (2000 Presidential Address to the Australian Association for the Study of Religions) Australian Religion Studies Review Vol. 13 No. 1 (Reprinted in Brian Howe and Alan Nichols (eds), The Spirit of Australia Melbourne: Australian Theological Forum 2001).

1999. 'Affirmative Action: Liberal Accommodation or Radical Trojan Horse?', Australian Journal of Law and Society 14, pp. 1-14 .

1999. 'For God and States' Rights: Euthanasia in the Senate' Legislative Studies Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 51-61.

1998. 'Religion and the Secular State Revisited', Australian Religion Studies Review Vol. 11 No. 2, pp 97-113.

1998. 'What is a Fabrication? The Political Status of Religious Belief', Australian Religion Studies Review Vol. 11 No. 1, pp 5-16.

1997. 'How Late Night Theology Sparked A Royal Commission into Indigenous Australian Religious Belief' Sophia: International Journal for Philosophical Theology and Cross-cultural Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp 111-135 (Research partly funded by a University of South Australia Faculty of Education Small Grant).

1996. 'Bodies, Equality and Truth: What Does Affirmative Action Affirm?' Alternative Law Journal Vol. 21 No. 4, pp 168-172.

1993. 'Ethics and Rhetoric of the Starving Child' Social Semiotics Vol. 3 No. 1 pp 71-94.

Book Chapters

2014 'Politics' in Paul Hedges (ed.) Controversies in Contemporary Religion vol. 2 Santa Barbara: Praeger, pp 265-292

2014 'Scandals' in Paul Hedges (ed.) Controversies in Contemporary Religion vol. 3 Santa Barbara: Praeger, pp 249-276

2012 'Christianity in Australia and New Zealand: Faith and Politics in Secular Soil' in Charles Farhadian (ed), Introducing World Christianity Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 203-217 

2011 'Religion as the New Race' in Yilma Tafere Tasew (ed) Outcast: the Plight of Black African Refugees, Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, pp 69-82.

2011 'Salvation and Conquest: The Battle for Australia' in Andrew Murphy (ed) The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp 424-438.

2009. 'Religion, State and Politics in Australia', in James Jupp (ed), Encyclopedia of Religion in Australia Cambridge University Press, pp 608-620.

2009. 'Hillsong and the Megachurches', in James Jupp (ed), Encyclopedia of Religion in Australia Cambridge University Press, pp 325-329.

2007. 'Methodism' Oxford Companion to Australian Politics (ed. Brian Galligan and Winsome Roberts), Oxford University Press 2007, pp 340-342.

2006. 'When God Meets Politics' in Tim Wright (ed), Time for Change, Melbourne: Hardie Grant, pp 121-138.

2005. 'What Should Be the Place of Religion in Australian Politics?' in Cameron Schraener (ed), 2005 Peace Yearbook, Sydney: People for Nuclear Disarmament, pp 3-6.

2005. 'Religion, Family and Invention of Tradition' in Tim Battin (ed), A Passion for Politics: Essays in honour of Graham Maddox, Sydney: Pearson Education Australia, pp 223-234.

2004. 'One Country Under Howard' in Geoffrey Barker et al, A Win and a Prayer: Scenes from the 2004 Australian election Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, pp 43-49.

2003 'Durkheim Beyond Liberalism: Liberal accommodations of group rights' in Paul Morris and Helen Greatrex (eds), Human Rights Research, Wellington: Victoria Human Rights Programme, pp 71-102.

2003. 'Blackleg Churches? The changing relationship between church and executive government' in Brian Howe and Philip Hughes (eds) Spirit of Australia vol. II, Melbourne: Australian Theological Forum, pp 145-163.

2001. 'The Preamble Debate: Religion and Public Values in Australia' in Brian Howe and Alan Nichols (eds), Spirit of Australia: Religion in Citizenship and National Life, Melbourne, Australian Theological Forum, pp 150-180.

2000. 'Baring All: Testimony as Moral Exhortation', Paul Corcoran and Vicky Spencer (eds), Disclosures London: Ashgate, pp. 69-99.

1998. 'Religion in the Hindmarsh Island Controversy', George Couvalis, Helen Macdonald and Cheryl Simpson (eds), Cultural Heritage: Values and Rights Flinders University Centre for Applied Philosophy, pp. 61-79.

1997. 'Sticks and Stones: Religious Freedom, State Neutrality and Indigenous Heritage Protection' in George Crowder et al (eds), Australasian Political Studies 1997 (Vol. 2), Bedford Park: Flinders University, pp 637-652.

1994. 'Nor Ever Chast Except You Ravish Mee: Sexual Politics and Protestant Pieties' in Penny Magee and Morny Joy (eds), Claiming Our Rites: Australian Feminist Essays in Religion Adelaide: Australian Association for the Study of Religion, pp 37-56.

Refereed Conference Papers

2008. (invited) 'Saved By Shopping' La croyance dans tous ses états conference, University of Aix-Marseilles, November.

2008. 'Why We Need More Religion in Australian Politics, Not Less', delivered at the Academy of the Social Sciences funded workshop Religion in Australian Politics, co-convened with James Jupp, Sydney, September.

2007. 'Secularism and Religious Politics: An Australian Exception', for the conferenc, organised by the research priority area 'Religion in the 21st Century', University of Copenhagen in cooperation with Dep. of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham and Dep. of Legal Philosophy and Law of Culture and Religion, University of Vienna, 29 May-1 June.

2007. 'Accommodating Religious Diversity: Beyond Liberal Dilemmas', for the conference 'Globalization, Immigration and Change in Religious Movements', organised by Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux 3 - Master Religions et Sociétés, CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions, Italy) and ISAR (Institute for the Study of American Religions), Santa Barbara, California, 7-9 June.

2006. 'Religion and Secularism' Australian Association for the Study of Religions, Adelaide, July.

2005. 'Australia's Religious Right: How far can American comparisons take us?' Australasian Political Studies Association, Dunedin, September.

2005. 'Secularisation and Fundamentalist Politics: Beyond American Exceptionalism', Invitation-only International Symposium on Religion and Multicultural Citizenship, University of New South Wales, 10-13 July.

2005. 'Howard and the Resurgence of Christian Politics', One Nation Under God: Religion in the 2004 Australian Federal Election conference, Sydney, February.

2004. 'People Like That: Race, religion and values in recent Australian political rhetoric', Australasian Political Studies Association, Adelaide, October.

2003. 'Howard's Social Policy: Where Does It Come From and How Long Will It Last?', Australasian Political Studies Association, Hobart, October. Re-presented by invitation to:

  • Politics and Public Administration Group, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Canberra (22 October)
  • Sydney University Department of Government (30 October)
  • University of NSW School of Politics (4 November)

2002. 'What is Religion For? Durkheim and the "Religion of Man"', New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion, Wellington, December.

2002. 'Instrumental Religion and the Family Values Right', Prophecy, Power and Pluralism: International Conference on Religion and Politics in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Wellington, December.

2002. 'Religion and Australian Politics: Out of the Methodological Bog', Australasian Political Studies Association, Canberra, October.

2002. 'Durkheim Beyond Liberalism', Cross-Campus Symposium on International Human Rights Theory, Wellington, August.

2002. 'The Political Price of Religious Innocence', XVth ISA World Congress of Sociology, Brisbane, July.

2001. 'Whatever Happened to the Lyons Forum?' Australasian Political Studies Association, September.

2001. 'Fasting for Feasters' Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, Wellington, March.

Professional Associations

Australasian Political Studies Association

American Academy of Religion

Australian Association for Study of Religions (Vice President 1997-9, President 1999-2001)

New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions (Treasurer 2001-6)