Faith, hope , and charity – religion as a public benefit in modern Australia

Justice SC Derrington, President of the ALRC, presented at the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) Annual Public Lecture 2019 at the University of Melbourne on 29 November 2019.

Some of you may be aware that, on the 20th of next month, the ninth film in the Star Wars movie franchise will arrive in cinemas. The most recent film in that franchise was entitled “The Last Jedi”. In the Star Wars universe, the Jedi are a group of warriors trained in the mystic ways of “the Force”.  Some of you are no doubt also aware that the fictional Jedi have spawned a purported religion, ‘Jediism’, with its ‘philosophy based on the beliefs of the Jedi … in the Star Wars films’. Although initially viewed as a humorous approach to a census question, ‘Jediism’ is said to have grown to encompass 177,000 self-identifying adherents in the United Kingdom. In Australia, 48,000 people identified as Jedis in the latest census.

Read the full speech here