The Catholic Institute

Dr Zachariah Duke

Postion:  Acting Academic Dean, Lecturer in Theology and Research Fellow

Zachariah Duke

Location:  National Office, Wellington - and working remotely from Sydney, Australia

Qualifications: BTheol (Hons) (ACU), GradCertDisSt (Flinders), GradCertTertTeach (Curtin), PhD (Theology) (UON)

Contact:  04 6502977 or +61 401 068324 email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research and academic interests: Disability theology; practical-pastoral theology; ecclesiology and ethnography; theological education

Zachariah (Zach) Duke joined TCI on 20 August 2018 as Acting Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology at The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as a Research Fellow with The Nathaniel Centre – the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Centre.

Previously, Zach held a number of senior academic positions at BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (formerly The Broken Bay Institute), as well as adjunct/conjoint lectureships with The University of Wollongong, The University of Newcastle and The University of Tasmania. Zach’s main areas of academic competence include: disability theology; practical-pastoral theology; ecclesiology and ethnography; and theological education.

He is an active member of several academic and professional associations, including: the Living Fully Network (where he is the current co-chair); the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania; the Australian Catholic Theological Association; and the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, among others. Zach is a director on the Board of St Lucy’s School (a Catholic primary school which caters for children living with disabilities) and the Delany Foundation (the not-for-profit charity of the Patrician Brothers). Zach was the recipient of the 2017 distinguished alumni award for his services to disability and higher education from his alma mater, Holy Cross College, Ryde.

Zach volunteers regularly at St Lucy’s School, St Vincent de Paul and L’Arche Australia, and enjoys reading, travelling, music, street culture, sports and spending quality time with his family and friends.

Publications and presentations (sample):

  • “A Practical Theology of Time: Insights from Jean Vanier, St Thérèse of Lisieux and John Swinton,” Association of Practical Theology in Oceania Conference, Suva, Fiji, 2018.
  • “The Story of Jean Vanier: The Journey of Becoming a Witness to God’s Peace,” A Witness to God’s Peace: A Jean Vanier Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 2017.
  • “Quality assurance in unit design and delivery with sessional academic staff,” Higher Education Compliance and Quality Network Conference, Melbourne, 2016.
  • “Dissolving Boundaries” – An Analysis of Threshold Concepts in Disability Theology (with Peter Mudge), Journal of Adult Theological Education 13, 2 (2016): 147 – 162.
  • “Did they read the right signs? Disability in the Catholic Tradition since Vatican II,” Summer Institute of Theology and Disability, Holland, USA, 2016. 
  • “From Inclusion to Belonging: Navigating a Way Forward,” Living Fully 2016: Disability, Culture and Faith – A Celebration, Rome, Italy, 2016.
  • “A critical analysis of a theology of disability in the Australian Catholic Church: A qualitative study of contemporary inclusive practices,” PhD unpublished thesis, School of Humanities and Social Science, The University of Newcastle, Australia, 2015.
  • “Communicator Extraordinaire! How Jean Vanier, through the Model of L’Arche, has redefined and transformed the way we understand spirituality and disability,” Spirituality and Disability: Vulnerability, Dependency and Interdependency Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 2014.
  • “A Sense of Place: How ethnography and action research can redefine the way we do theology,” Association of Practical Theology in Oceania Conference, Sydney, Australia, 2014.
  • “Inclusion Demands Real Action! Breaking down the social estrangement: inclusion, empowerment and accessibility for individuals living with a disability,” Broken Bay News. Pennant Hills: Diocese of Broken Bay, 2012.