About us

What is SOFiA?


SOFiA is a network of Australians interested in openly exploring issues of life and meaning through reason, philosophy, ethics, religion, science and the arts.

SOFiA’s aim is to promote non-dogmatic discussion of cultural, social, philosophical and religious issues.

Members of the SOFiA Network feel free to draw on the rich philosophical and spiritual heritage of the past but do not feel bound by it.

The Network provides stimulation and fellowship in the common quest for meaning and fulfilment, and welcomes people from all perspectives, ethnicities and faith/philosophical communities. Many in the Network meet regularly in local groups to share ideas and to discuss issues related to the making of meaning.

The SOFiA Network was formed in Brisbane in 1998 and incorporated in 2003. (See SOFiA Constitution). It has members throughout Australia.

SOFiA publishes a regular newsletter (the SOFiA Bulletin) containing information, articles and reviews. Other activities/resources include:

conferences, occasional public lectures and regional meetings

an email discussion list, sofiatalk (contact moderator)

a facebook page

and our weblog

Any who find themselves in sympathy with our purpose (exploring life and meaning in an open and non-dogmatic manner) are most welcome to join us.

About us

SOFiA Origins

In the 1980s a BBC television series entitled ‘Sea of Faith’ was written and presented by English academic and theologian Don Cupitt. The series charted the decline of religion over some two hundred years, and led to the formation of the UK Sea of Faith Network. That Network takes its name from Matthew Arnold’s poem, Dover Beach:

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

There are currently Sea of Faith Networks in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand.

SOFiA began as Sea of Faith in Australia Inc., with a specific focus on religion and faith. In 2019 the Australian Network changed its name to SOFiA and broadened its scope to “openly exploring issues of life and meaning through reason, philosophy, ethics, religion, science and the arts”.

  1. Explores… …issues of life and meaning through reason, philosophy, ethics, religion, science, and the arts
  2. Promotes… …open and non-dogmatic discussion of cultural, social, philosophical and religious issues
  3. Affirms… …the continuing importance of our rich philosophical and spiritual heritage
  4. Has no Creed… …and welcomes people from all perspectives, ethnicities and faith/ philosophical communities.