About us

The Dominican Centre for Interfaith, Ministry, Education and Research (CIMER) engages with communities of people of other faiths, and contributes to mutual understanding and social cohesiveness in Australian society.

We develop communities and make known the theological and other resources found in the Catholic and Christian tradition which support interfaith engagement.

We focus especially on women’s role and participation in the religious faith traditions and women’s contribution to building societies of peace, justice and care of creation.

Our Director, Trish Madigan, a Dominican sister, has been Ecumenical Officer for over 15 years with the Commissions of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Diocese of Broken Bay where she was involved in interfaith dialogue at many levels. She is a foundation member of the Women’s Interfaith Network (WIN) in Sydney and a Christian representative on the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Jews and Muslims (ANDCJM), Australia’s peak inter-religious body. Between 2004 and 2012 she was an Australian delegate at five regional inter-governmental conferences of the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and Harmony.  In 2002 she participated in a Consultation of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue for the Asian region held in Seoul, South Korea. She is a former member of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Advisory Committee for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations and is currently a Member of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) and the Affinity Intercultural Foundation’s Advisory Board.

EDUCATION 

The Dominican Centre for Interfaith, Ministry, Education and Research (www.cimer.org.au) focuses especially on women’s role and participation in the religious faith traditions and women’s contributions to building societies of peace, justice and care of creation. Trish completed her studies in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, and Harvard Divinity School, where she specialized in Christian-Muslim relations. She was awarded her PhD in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Sydney. She lectures regularly at the University of Sydney, Australian Catholic University, and Broken Bay Institute/University of Newcastle, and is engaged in educational activities with a diverse range of community groups.

RESEARCH

Trish has worked on intercultural research projects with Macquarie University Law School, the Australian Women’s Coalition (AWC) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the Gϋlen Institute, and the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. She is the author of Women and Fundamentalism in Islam and Catholicism: Negotiating Modernity in a Globalized World (Peter Lang, 2011).  She has published widely in such journals as the Australian eJournal of Theology, One in Christ, and Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations as well as Australian Mosaic (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia).  

Her main areas of research interest are:

  • interreligious relations in Australia
  • the dynamics of religious fundamentalism
  • religions’ engagement with modernity
  • religion, gender and human rights
  • women’s religious and cultural history, especially in Christianity/Catholicism and Islam