Rev. Dr. Mark Durie
Mark Durie completed an Arts Degree with First Class Honours and a University Medal in Germanic Languages and Linguistics. He gained his PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University in 1984 with a study of the language of the Acehnese, a Muslim people of Indonesia. He conducted field research trips in Aceh during the 1980’s and 1990’s, producing several books, and many research articles. The dialects he documented were among those obliterated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.
Dr. Durie was a visiting researcher at the University of Leiden in 1985, investigating the Dutch Acehnese manuscripts, many of which are concerned with Islamic jihad. Then he spent two years as a Harkness Fellow in the USA, holding positions as visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Los Angeles and Stanford University. After coming to Melbourne, Dr. Durie became Head of the Department of Linguistics and Language Studies before taking up an Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellowship in the mid 1990’s. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1991, and awarded an Australian Centennial Medal in 2001 for contributions to linguistics.
After a change in career, Dr. Durie now works as the Vicar of St Mary’s Anglican Church, Caulfield in Melbourne. He is a human rights activist, writing and speaking extensively in Australia and internationally on issues relating to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians living under the Islamic sharia. He speaks across Australia and internationally on Islam. He also writes on issues related to world missions, interfaith dialogue and religious conflict. His book Revelation: do we worship the same God? was published by CityHarvest in July 2006 and is into its second edition. His latest books The Third Choice and Liberty to the Captives, appeared in 2010. They are on understanding Islam, the experience of non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, and how to find spiritual freedom in the face of the challenge of Islam.