The Centre for the Study of the Western Tradition (CSWT) seeks to encourage critical reflection and research on the history, literature, languages, philosophy and theology that characterise Western civilisation and culture, in order to raise the profile of these vital disciplines in Australian tertiary education. These integrated humane studies evolved from the classical and medieval Liberal Arts, including European, Græco-Roman, Byzantine and Near Eastern traditions. They remain an essential key to a rich understanding of Australian culture and society, including our ideals of democracy, our Enlightenment heritage, our Christian-oriented past, our multi-cultural identity, and the classical underpinnings of our education.
During the past generation the epicentre of Australian academic interest has shifted very distinctly towards Asian and Indigenous studies. The Centre fully recognises the rightness and appropriateness of that, given Australia’s geographical placement in the world, but insists on the need to affirm the equal importance of the traditional humanities within the ecology of our nation’s collective intelligence.