Revd Rex A E Hunt
MSc(Hons), GradDip(Communication Management)
Rex Hunt is a progressive 'grass roots' religious naturalist, liturgist, and social ecologist. Forty-four years ordained, first as a Presbyterian, he is today a retired minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, where his last placement was at the progressive Church of St James (2000-2009) in Canberra, ACT - Canberra being Australia's capital city, centre of national political life.
Some highlights from a significant 'progressive' career in ministry include:
• Founding Member, Editorial Committee, Catalyst: A Journal of Progressive Religious Thought (1967-74);
• Founder (1990), National Co-ordinator (1990-96) and Life Member (2008) of The Network of Biblical Storytellers, Australia & New Zealand. He was a Workshop leader at several of the Network's National Gatherings, and the Keynote Presenter at the National Gathering in Victoria in 2011;
• Founding Director (2002-2009) and Life Member (2009) of The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Canberra where he was a regular Keynote Presenter;
• Assisted with the establishment of The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Sydney (2004), The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Brisbane (2005) - now combined with the Progressive Spirituality Network, Brisbane, The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria (2006) and The Progressive Christian Network, Central Coast (2010-2012); Likewise he gave guiding encouragement to West Australian Progressive Network and the Progressive Spirituality New Zealand - where he gave a 'quick-fire' (short) presentation on Holy Communion/Jesus Banquet at the Network's launch in August 2014.
• Keynote Presenter at the launch of The [Lay] Forum - a progressive movement within the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia (2009);
• Associate of the Westar Institute - an international gathering of scholars who advocate religious literacy and critical scholarship. Between 2005-2008 he was a member of its Literacy and Liturgy Seminar - the difference scholarship on the 'historical' Jesus and early christianities makes, and how to reimagine what these new understandings imply for worship (the Sunday morning experience), preaching, prayer, and life in community;
• Chair of the Planning Team for three International Gatherings of progressive religion, spread over seven years (2006-2013): (i) in Sydney, Australia, in August 2007, called Common Dreams1 Conference with the theme "Progressive Religion as a Transforming Agent". The Keynote Presenters were Bishop John Shelby Spong (USA), supported by Revd Stephanie Dowrick; (ii) in Melbourne, Australia, in April 2010, called Common Dreams2 Conference where the theme was "Living the Progressive Religion Dream". Keynote Presenter was Revd Gretta Vosper (Canada), and (iii) in Canberra, Australia, in September 2013, called Common Dreams3 Conference, under the theme "Midwives of Change: Progressives Shaping Religious Communities". Keynote Presenters were Professor Marcus Borg (USA) and Revd Bruce Sanguin (Canada). All three Conferences had several Australian and New Zealand progressives offering Presentations and leading Workshops.
• The Common Dreams4 Conference is to be held in Brisbane in September 2016. Check out the details at: http://commondreams.org.au/ Theme: "Progressive Spirituality: New Directions". Keynote presenters include: Dr Val Webb and Michael Morwood (Aus), Revd Adrian Alker (Britain), Dr Diana Butler Bass, Professor Pam Eisenbaum, Revd Fred Plumer, and Revd David Felten (USA). Plus a special Under 40s program for younger progressives.
Rex has also been able to facilitate the bringing to Australia of such international scholars and leaders within the progressive religion movement, as: 'Jesus Seminar' fellows Prof. B Brandon Scott (USA), Prof. John Dominic Crossan (USA), Assoc. Prof. Joe Bessler (USA), Prof. Sir Lloyd Geering (NZ), Bishop John Shelby Spong (USA), Prof. Marcus Borg (USA), Dr David Galston (Canada); plus Fred Plumer (USA), Prof. Tom Boomershine (USA), David Felten (USA), Gretta Vosper (Canada), Bruce Sanguin (Canada), Alan Race (Britain). Likewise, supporting Australian and New Zealand scholars and progressives such as: Gregory Jenks, Val Webb, Michael Morwood, Elaine Wainwright, Noel Preston, Francis Macnab, Norman Habel, John W. H. Smith, Margaret Mayman, Keith Rowe, Lorraine Parkinson, John Bodycomb.
In 2004 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International (Rotary Club of Canberra-Woden) for Services to the Community - he is a former District Governor of Apex Australia (Zone 1, District 3), a past President of Rotary, and a past President of ProBus - and prior to moving from Canberra, was made an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Woden in 2008.
Rex has published several articles on various topics - Media, Communication, Preaching, Christmas, Liturgy, Parables, The 'progressive' Movement, etc. (some available on this site).
Along with these articles he has authored or edited six books (See front covers this page):
• Edited and contributed to, a collection of story sermons, New Green Shoots and Other Story Sermons (JBCE, 1993 - now out of print);
• Co-edited (and contributed to) two books on progressive Christianity with John W. H. Smith - Why Weren't We Told? A Handbook on ‘progressive' Christianity, (Polebridge Press, 2012), and New Life: Rediscovering Faith. Stories from Progressive Christians - a companion to WWWT, (2013, Mosaic Press; Re-issued 2014 by Morning Star Publishing) featuring stories from 25 lay people from Australia and New Zealand on their 'progressive' journey;
• Co-edited (and contributed to) with Gregory Jenks, a collection of 13 articles from Australian and New Zealand progressives, centred around the spirit of the Common Dreams Conferences, called Wisdom and Imagination: Religious Progressives and the Search for Meaning (Morning Star Publishing, 2014).
• Published a collection of some of his recent sermons called Against The Stream: Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew (Mosaic Press, 2012. Re-issued August 2014 with Morning Star Publications); and his exploration of Christmas in both popular culture and progressive Christianity, called Cards, Carols, and Claus. Christmas in Popular Culture and Progressive Christianity (Mosaic Press, 2013; Re-issued 2014 by Morning Star Publications).
• His latest book, When 'Progressives' Gather Together: Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations, is on liturgy, enculturation, the sacraments (Baptism & Holy Communion), The Jesus/Abba Prayer, and Preaching. Plus a large liturgical resources ToolKit. It was released mid-August 2016 by Morning Star Publishing. (Details are on this site, and below). Last year (September 2015) Rex undertook an international speaking tour where he gave a series of Lectures/Presentations based on his new book. He visited Phoenix AZ. USA - at The Fountains United Methodist Church (6 September, where he preached), and gave two workshops: (i) for clergy, and (ii) for laity (8 September); in Nova Scotia (Canada) over a whole weekend (11-13 September, five formal Presentations and two informal) at the Tatamagouche Centre; and in Britain in Manchester (23 September, one extended Presentation, and some days later in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (26 September, three formal Presentations and a lead Reflection). During and after these Presentations he met many folk who not only knew of this web site, but used its contents, and the works of the other authors he highlights, frequently. “It was a humbling experience… thank you one and all”.
Check out the ORDER MY BOOKS HERE section (this page above left) for Book Reviews and how you can Purchase copies direct from Rex at discounted prices. Sales from these books help keep this web site online.
Up until his retirement from active ministry Rex was recognised as a leader in Australia's progressive religious movement. Rex writes: "So here they are. A bit of this. A bit of that. Sermons. Liturgies. (There’s a search feature linking both Sermons and Liturgies at the top of each of these pages to make them a little more accessible - I hope!) Prayers. Affirmations. Articles. Read on if you are interested in wanting to push some theological boundaries in open and honest ways. Progressive theology has always been an imaginative construction. Seek out those others who have helped me shape my thoughts for they have much more to offer than suggested here. And may we all be blessed and empowered as we re-imagine the world".