Revd Rex A E Hunt
MSc(Hons), GradDip(Communication Management)
Rex Hunt is a progressive 'grass roots' religious naturalist, liturgist, and social ecologist. Forty-five years ordained, first as a Presbyterian (1972), he is today a retired minister of the Uniting Church in Australia (formed in 1977), 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 is 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 Christianity Aotearoa - where he gave a 'quick-fire' (short) presentation on Holy Communion/Jesus Banquet at the group'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 out of four International Gatherings of progressive religion, spread over eight (8) years (2006-2013): (i) in Sydney, Australia, in August 2007, called Common Dreams1 Conference with the theme "Progressive Religion as a Transforming Agent". 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), along with Revd Fred Plumer (USA), Revd Gregory Jenks and Rabbi Aviva Kipen (Aus), 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), Revd Bruce Sanguin (Canada), and Revd David Felten (USA).
• Served on the Planning Team for Common Dreams4 Conference in Brisbane in September 2016. Theme: "Progressive Spirituality: New Directions". Keynote presenters included: 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.
• Common Dreams5 Conference is being explored… probably to return to where it all started - Sydney, in 2019.
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/edited seven books (See front covers of six, 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/Aotearoa 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, Baptism and Jesus Banquet/Communion, The Jesus/Abba Prayer, and Preaching. Plus a large liturgical resources ToolKit. It was released mid-August 2016 by Morning Star Publishing in Australia. (Details are on this site, and below).
• Associated with this book, in September 2015 Rex undertook an international speaking tour where he gave a series of Lectures/Presentations based on the chapters in the 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) at the Tatamagouche Centre over a whole weekend (11-13 September, five formal Presentations and two informal) 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) - all under the patronage of the Progressive Christianity Network Britain. During and after all 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. Many are available from Amazon. Also from my Australian publisher Morning Star Publishing who will print and deliver orders from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, locally in each case, and orders from South Africa will be printed in Britain. In the USA, Mexico, and Canada, order direct from Wipf & Stock.
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/evolving 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".