Associate Professor John A. Rees
BTh, MA, MTh Hons, MA(IR), PhD
Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations and
Discipline Head in Politics and International Relations

Email: John.Rees@nd.edu.au
Phone: 02 8204 4104

Biography
Dr John A. Rees is Convener of the Religion and Global Society Program (Institute for Ethics and Society) and Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations (School of Arts & Sciences) at The University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney. A recognised scholar of religion in the discipline of international relations (IR), John has published scholarly and educational works in the areas of IR theory and concepts, religion in international policy, and the IR discourse on post-secularism. He is presently editing three peer-reviewed publications and leading a regular symposium program that address formative issues related to religion and global affairs (see tabs below). A regular media commentator, Dr Rees curates ‘The Religion Gap’ a commissioned blog on the internationally recognised website for scholars and students, E-International Relations. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and a member of the steering committee of the International Development and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion. A recognised teacher, Dr Rees is a recipient of the nationally awarded Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (Office of Learning and Teaching, Australian Government) and the Notre Dame Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching (Undergraduate). John holds a PhD and MA in International Relations from the University of New South Wales, and Masters degrees in Theology (Sydney College Divinity) and Ancient History (Macquarie University).
Teaching Area
  • International relations theory and practice
  • Religion in world politics
  • Foreign policy
  • Select area studies in world politics
  • International development and security
Research Expertise and Supervision
  • Secularism and postsecularism in international relations
  • Religion and international development policy
  • Religion and foreign policy
  • Political theology
Research Expertise and Supervision
  • Secularism and Postsecularism in International Relations
  • Religion and International / Foreign Policy
  • Catholic Foreign Policy

 

Research and engagement

Books
Rees, J.A. (2011) Religion in International Politics and Development: The World Bank and Faith Institutions (Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing)

Baldino, D., Lundberg, D., Pietsch J., Rees, J. (2011) Contemporary Challenges in Australian Security (Melbourne: Palgrave MacMillan)
Book chapters
Rees, J.A. (2017) ‘Religion and Culture’ in S. McGlinchey, ed., International Relations: A Beginner’s Guide (Bristol, UK: E-International Relations), pp.98-111.

Rees, J.A. (2016) 'The Nation and the State' in J. Arvanitakis, ed., Sociologic: A Sociological Analysis of Everyday Life (South Melbourne, Oxford University Press), pp.179-196.

Rees, J.A. (2013) ‘International Financial Institutions and Religion’, in M. Clarke ed., Handbook of Research on Development and Religion (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing), pp.268-285.

Rees, J.A. (2012) ‘‘Really Existing’ Scriptures: on the use of sacred text in international affairs’, in D. Johnston and D. Hoover, eds. Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings (Baylor University Press), pp.109-118.
Journal articles and proceedings
Edited editions:
  • Rees, J.A. & Smartt, T., eds. (2017) 'The Politics of Religious Freedom in the Asia-Pacific', The Journal of Religious and Political Practice, (forthcoming).
  • Rees, J.A. & Miranda, J. eds. (2017) 'Reading Laudato Si' in East and Southeast Asia', Philippiniana Sacra, (forthcoming).
  • Rees, J.A., ed. (2017) 'Reading Laudato Si' in the Philippines', Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics, (forthcoming).
Articles:
  • Rees, J.A. (2017). Intersectionality, International Relations and the Possibility of Religion Policy, Politics, Religion & Ideology, DOI: 10.1080/21567689.2017.1304849.
  • Rees, J.A. (2014). 'Religion in the Syntax of Political Power: a post-secular perspective on international relations', Politics, Religion and Ideology, 15:3, pp.456-472.
  • Rees, J.A. (2013). 'Religion Research in International Relations: A Taxonomy', Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol 48, Issue 1, pp.129-134.
  • Rees. J.A. & McDuie-Ra, D. (2010). 'Religious Actors, Civil Society and the Development Agenda: The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion', Journal of International Development 22, 20-36.
  • Rees, J.A. (2010). 'The Next Big Thing? Why religion may (not) shape international relations in the 21st century'. American Graduate School of International Relations in Paris Graduate Conference. Found at http://researchonline.nd.edu.au/arts_conference/25/
Conference papers
Conference Papers:
  • Rees, J.A. (2017), 'Global Institutions of Religion', Reimagining Difference: Being, Thinking and Practicing Beyond Essentialism. Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, 13-15 September.
  • Rees, J.A. (2016), 'Religion in International Relations: the state of scholarship', Colloquium, Department of Political Science, University of Washington, 23 November.
  • Rees, J.A. (2016), 'Religion and International Development', American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, 21 November.
  • Rees, J.A. (2016), 'Religious literacy as a precursor to religious freedom in regional policy development', The Politics of Religious Freedom in the Asia-Pacific, The University of Notre Dame Australia, 15 September.
  • Rees, J.A. (2016), 'Prophetic Hope: Global Institutions Between Optimism and Pessimism in an Age of Globalisation', Economy, Idolatry and Secularisation: In Conversation with William T. Cavanaugh, The University of Notre Dame Australia, 11 July.
  • Rees, J.A. (2016), 'A Political Devotion', Mary at the Beginning of the Third Millennium, The University of Notre Dame Australia, March 3-4.
  • Rees, J.A. (2015), 'Human Flourishing and the "Good That Governments Do": a postsecular reading of state authority', COMIUCAP Conference, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 20-22 July.
  • Rees, J.A. (2014), 'Four Religions of Foreign Policy', Oceanic Conference of International Studies, University of Melbourne, 4-6 July.
  • Rees, J.A. (2013), 'Game of Thrones: On the Enduring Powers of Monarchy', World History Association Conference, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, 3-5 October.
  • Rees, J.A. (2012), 'The Other Shia: Ismaili development practice in an age of "radical Islam" ', Oceanic Conference on International Studies, University of Sydney, 18 – 20 July.
  • Rees, J.A. (2012), 'Religion in the Syntax of Political Power: a post-secular perspective on international relations', CSWT Symposium, Campion College, Sydney, 7 December.
  • Rees, J.A. (2010), 'The Dynamics of Religion at the World Bank', American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 1 November.
  • Rees, J.A. (2010), 'Going Global: the creation of religion by International Organisations', Oceanic Conference on International Studies, Auckland, New Zealand, June 30 – July 2.
  • Rees, J.A. (2010), 'The Next Big Thing? Why religion may (not) shape international relations in the 21st century', Evolving Borders: Identity and Affiliation in a Volatile International Landscape, American Graduate School of International Relations, Paris, France, June 1 – 2.
Symposia Convened:
  • Economy, Idolatry and Secularisation: In Conversation with William Cavanaugh, Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney. July, 2016.
  • Reading Laudato Si' in Asia, Academic, Association of East and South-East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASSEACCU) The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome Campus, August, 2016.
  • The Politics of Religious Freedom in the Asia-Pacific, Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney. July, 2016.
In the Media
  • Blog Curator and Lead Contributor: The Religion Gap, E-International Relations. For specific posts see www.e-ir.info/category/blogs/religiongap/
  • Blog: Rees, J.A., 'Like it or not, monarchies are enduring for several reasons', The Conversation, June 7, 2014. http://theconversation.com/like-it-or-not-monarchies-are-enduring-for-several-reasons-26588
  • Blog: Rees, J.A. 'Religion and the Ukraine Crisis: Four Key Questions', The Religion Factor, March 6, 2014. http://religionfactor.net/2014/03/06/religion-and-the-ukraine-crisis-four-key-questions/
  • Forum: Celia Lam & John Rees, 'Celebrity Chat', Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies, 8 October, 2015. www.youtube.com/watch?v=03f9yRTpxBc
  • Interview: 'Politics and Religion' Wesley Impact! TV, Fox Studios (22 October, 2016). Broadcast Channel Nine 19 March, 2017.
  • Interview: On the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, SBS World News, 13 February, 2016.
  • Podcast: 'Free Speech, Hate Speech, and 18C with Peter Wertheim', Sociologic (FBi Radio), 9 September, 2016.
  • Podcast: 'Trump Beyond 'WTF?' with Dr David Smith', Sociologic (FBi Radio), 15 May, 2016.
  • Radio: Discussing the political relevance monarchies and the death of the Thai King, Mornings with Genevieve Jacobs, ABC Local Radio 666, Canberra, 18 October, 2016.
  • Radio Co-presenter (with Prof. James Arvanitakis), 'Sociologic: Politic, News and Views', FBi Radio (94.5fm) 2014-2016.
Professional affiliations
Invited Member, Work Stream: Democracy in a Religious World, PM Glynn Institute, Australian Catholic University, Sydney.

Fellow, Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Committee Member, International Development and Religion Group, American Academy of Religion.
Community Engagement
* Also see 'In the Media'
  • Public Development Seminar: 'Trump - Chaos of Opportunity? Perspectives on a New Global Order' (with Dr David Smith and Ms Clare Stanford), The University of Notre Dame Australia, 28 March, 2017.
  • Education Forum (Senior Secondary School): 'Thinking about religion-state relations around the world', A Public Faith (hosted by Sydney Catholic Schools), NSW Parliament House, Sydney, 10 March, 2017.
  • Professional Development Workshop: 'Religion in the Policy Arena', Australian Council for International Development Annual Meeting, Canberra, 31 October, 2015.
  • Public Forum: 'One Day for Peace: discussing religious diversity in Australia', media panel moderated by Geraldine Doogue, Parramatta Town Hall, 23 September, 2015.
  • Public Lecture: 'The Four Religions of Foreign Policy': Toward a New Strategic Engagement', Religion and Society Research Public Lecture, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Bankstown, 19 November, 2015.
  • Public Panel (Moderated by Geraldine Doogue, ABC), One Day For Peace, Hosted by Urban Theatre Projects, Parramatta Town Hall, Sydney 22 September, 2015. http://urbantheatre.com.au/news/one-day-public-panel/
  • Professional Development Workshop: 'Religion and International Development, Practice' UnitingWorld, Sydney, 7 August, 2012.
Awards
2014: Vice Chancellor's Teaching Award, University of Notre Dame Australia

2009: Citations Award for Teaching Excellence, Office of Learning and Teaching (formerly Australian Learning and Teaching Council), Australian Government

2004: Dr Beth Blackall Prize for Postgraduate Research, Sydney College of Divinity