Journal for the Academic Study of Religion https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR <p>This journal is the leading peer-reviewed journal of the Pacific region dealing with all aspects of the academic study of religion and is affiliated with the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.</p> en-US <p>Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> Ibrahim.Abraham@anu.edu.au (Ibrahim Abraham and Bernard Doherty) aparkin@equinoxpub.com (Ailsa Parkin) Tue, 10 May 2022 23:17:31 +0000 OJS 3.3.0.7 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 The Sacred in the Secular https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22393 <p>Francis Webb’s poetry places the significance of Jesus firmly in the miracle of the incarnation, a moment that symbolises the presence of Christ in all creation, a presence summed up in the lines ‘The tiny not the immense / Will teach our groping eyes’. Drawing energy out of the Thomist tradition and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, Webb demonstrates a belief in the presence of Jesus in the quotidian, proximate aspects of existence, a belief he shares with other Australian writers such as Patrick White and Les Murray. Mentored in his early years by Norman Lindsay and Douglas Stewart, Webb’s maturing sense of the presence of Christ in creation required a severing of ties with their stridently anti-religious position. Consequently, his poetry is driven by the metaphor of the journey, specifically a journey towards the revelation of Jesus, a journey to the ‘Centre’—both the centre of Australia and the spiritual centre of life. But such a journey demands the apprehension of the divine in the proximate, material aspects of existence. In this way the poetry demonstrates that revelation lies in the journey, not at its end. Jesus is to be apprehended in every moment.</p> Bill Ashcroft Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22393 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Representations of Jesus in Australian Poetry in the 1950s https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22510 <p>Studies of Australian poetry in the 1950s are preoccupied with the form, function and style of the genre. Poetry was regarded as high art cultivated by learned men and women, and published by international publishers such as Oxford University Press. Religious poetry is occasionally represented in these anthologies, but poems of or about Jesus are noticeable by their absence. By contrast, poems about Jesus can be found in newspapers and in self-published or boutique anthologies of religious verse. These personal expressions of faith, outside the sphere of high art, often show both European and Australian imaginings of Jesus. A study of religious verse of the period outside of the canonical literature illustrates the variety of the genre in the 1950s and the significance it held for Australian Christians.</p> Paul Watt Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22510 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Art and the Power to Save https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22400 <p>When churches protested the testing of atomic weapons, the rhetoric of power reigned. William Ricketts and Mary Packer Harris responded with religiously-informed artworks that protested humanity’s violence and subverted conventional representations of divine power. Harris, a Quaker, saw Christ crucified in every tree lost to Adelaide’s urban development and each atomic test. Ricketts, potter and founder of the William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mount Dandenong, produced sculptures protesting society’s violence toward First Nations peoples and the environment. While Harris remained resolutely Christian in her art and protest, Ricketts modelled Christ-like figures on himself. With clay-sculpted arms outstretched, he was Aboriginal Australia’s suffering saviour. Focusing on the years following atomic testing at Maralinga, this article examines the relationship between Harris and Ricketts and their representations of Christ in places of suffering that were ‘new’ to mid-century Australian consciousness, each hoping their art (if not Jesus) had the power to save.</p> Kerrie Handasyde Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22400 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Imagining Incarnation https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21709 <p>What role can the imagination and literary language play in understanding ‘the sacred’, specifically theologies of incarnation? Australian novelist Patrick White’s Voss is read, in this article, as a testing ground for the ways in which human imagination can nurture incarnational longings and beliefs; but also for registering the limits of human language confronting what can be experienced semper processus. That is, this article argues that knowledge of sacredness and the incarnational, diversely intuited in many different forms and practices—Indigenous, European, Romantic, and in the land—can be approached in literary works, but that grasping a key expression of the sacred, incarnation, will always be an agonistic, stumbling, partial human process. The figure of Voss, lonely, self-absorbed, foreign, driven by will, intends to map the country, but this novel unravels human arrogance, undoing all its characters as they reach in their own ways towards incarnational truths.</p> Lyn McCredden Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21709 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 ‘All Our Time’ https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22396 <p>Taking a cue from recent scholarship in Britain, this article explores the role of women as agents for religious change in Catholic classrooms in the mid-twentieth century. It takes examples from Melbourne, Australia where teachers had been influenced by the Young Christian Workers (YCW) Jocist method of ‘see, reflect, act’ and Cardijn’s inductive, Incarnational theology that challenged the traditional dualism between private faith and public life. In a democratisation of faith commitment, their method of theological reflection invigorated young people with a sense of their responsibility as disciples. Classroom teachers influenced by Jocist formation moved first through strategies designed to communicate relationship with Jesus, then an understanding of salvation history and then through approaches that enabled and encouraged engagement with reflection on experience. The everyday reality of Jesus not as an otherworldly friend but as a potential agent of social transformation is a significant shift from devotional styles of Catholic spirituality.</p> Katharine Massam Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22396 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Jesus in Schools https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22394 <p>The 1872 Education Act stated that education in the state of Victoria would be ‘free, compulsory and secular’. In the years following World War II there was a broadly endorsed imperative to maintain British cultural identity as an essential component of the national character of Australia as a Commonwealth nation. Associated Protestant moral values were believed to be a crucial underpinning of good citizenship and democracy. In 1946 the Council for Christian Education in Schools (CCES) published an Agreed Syllabus for religious instruction in government state schools. In 1950 compulsory religious instruction was introduced into these schools. The representation in associated teaching material reflected a particular understanding of Jesus. A close contextualised reading of CCES curriculum documents from the 1950s reveals distinctive ways in which a ‘British’ Jesus was represented in Victorian classrooms and the extent to which this representation aligned with the interests of the state.</p> Amanda Burritt Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22394 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 On Splitting Wood and Lifting Stones https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22420 <p>One early Christian gospel attributes the following saying to Jesus: ‘I am the light who is above all things… Split a piece of wood—I am there. Lift the stone, and you will find me there’ (Gospel of Thomas 77). The aphorism suggests both the possibility of finding Jesus in ordinary, and therefore surprising, places, and the human labour that might lead to revelation. As such, it stands as a suggestive metaphor for the scholarly industry and instincts of this issue’s articles that chart the Christ-figure in Australian imagination. Drawing on biblical reception history and the arguments and strategies of these articles, I suggest that while Christian theology traditionally affirms Christ as universal redeemer (‘the light who is above all things’), these articles are a reminder that it is only inside and under the highly particular trees and rocks of locality, land and culture that Jesus will be found.</p> Sean Winter Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22420 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Jan A. Ali, Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21997 <p>Jan A. Ali, Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism, Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing, 2020, pp. 256, ISBN: 9780522877076 (hbk). $69.99.</p> Mahsheed Ansari Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21997 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Anna Lutkajtis, The Dark Side of Dharma: Meditation, Madness and Other Maladies on the Contemplative Path https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21901 <p>Anna Lutkajtis, The Dark Side of Dharma: Meditation, Madness and Other Maladies on the Contemplative Path, London: Aeon Books, 2021, pp. 182, ISBN: 13-9781913504595 (pbk). £18.99.</p> Robert Crotty Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/21901 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Enqi Weng, Media Perceptions of Religious Changes in Australia: Of Dominance and Diversity and Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita and Marie Rodet, Religion, Media and Marginality in Modern Africa https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22174 <p>Enqi Weng, Media Perceptions of Religious Changes in Australia: Of Dominance and Diversity, Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2020, pp. 252, ISBN: 9780429201387 (ebook). US$27.74.</p> <p>Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita and Marie Rodet, Religion, Media and Marginality in Modern Africa, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2018, pp. 332, ISBN: 9780821446249 (ebook). US$79.99.</p> Lee-Shae Salma Scharnick-Udemans Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22174 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Introduction to the Special Issue https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22399 <p>.</p> Kerrie Handasyde, Katharine Massam Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/22399 Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000