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Mad World - Dale Thorley
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Professor of Ancient History
Strategic Reasearch Priorities and Targeted Priority Areas
The proposed project aligns closely with the mission and research strengths of ACU, as expressed in its mission statement in the following words: ‘The University explicitly engages the social, ethical and religious dimensions of the questions it faces in teaching and research, and service’. This project considers the social, ethical and religious dimensions of dream interpretation in the ancient world, and its impact on the modern world. The research falls into one strand of ACU’s research activity in historical studies (Field of Research code 2013): History of early Christianity, the other strand being Contemporary Australian social history. It also falls into HCA Cluster FOR 2204 (Religion and Religious Studies). ACU received a rating of 3 in both FOR 2204 and 2103 in ERA 2012, and a 4 for FOR 2204 in ERA 2010. The Fellowship is in line with the administering organisation’s staffing profile in Theology and Philosophy, an identified research strength of the University (see further D3).
The project’s focus on one of the ARC’s targeted priority areas, Understanding culture and communities, will maximise cultural benefits to Australia in the form of a greater appreciation of the cultural commonalities between adherents of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The uncovering of common social and religious meanings of dreams, through the analysis of ancient Christian, Jewish and Islamic literature, will contribute to our understanding of cultural communities in the pluralist religious context of contemporary Australia. This is also a priority focus of ACU’s community engagement, which seeks ‘to work with and listen to communities to forge long-term solutions and relationships’.
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