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The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History

Meredith Lake

The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History

Meredith Lake

$39.99 $31.99
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Winner - 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year Award

The revelatory story of the Bible in Australia, from the convict era to the Mabo land rights campaign, Nick Cave, the Bra Boys, and beyond. Thought to be everything from the word of God to a resented imposition, the Bible has been debated, painted, rejected, translated, read, gossiped about, preached, and tattooed.

At a time when public discussion of religion is deeply polarised, Meredith Lake reveals the Bible's dynamic influence in Australia and offers an innovative new perspective on Christianity and its changing role in our society. In the hands of writers, artists, wowsers, Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, Indigenous activists, and many more - the Bible has played a defining and contested role in Australia.

A must-read for sceptics, the curious, the lapsed, the devout, the believer, and non-believer.

"From the opening words about Bra Boy tattoos, this book had me gripped. It breathes colour, poetry and life into our understanding of the Bible in Australia. A vital, much-needed addition to our understanding of faith in our country."
- Julia Baird

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About "The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History"

Winner - 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year Award

The revelatory story of the Bible in Australia, from the convict era to the Mabo land rights campaign, Nick Cave, the Bra Boys, and beyond. Thought to be everything from the word of God to a resented imposition, the Bible has been debated, painted, rejected, translated, read, gossiped about, preached, and tattooed.

At a time when public discussion of religion is deeply polarised, Meredith Lake reveals the Bible's dynamic influence in Australia and offers an innovative new perspective on Christianity and its changing role in our society. In the hands of writers, artists, wowsers, Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, Indigenous activists, and many more - the Bible has played a defining and contested role in Australia.

A must-read for sceptics, the curious, the lapsed, the devout, the believer, and non-believer.

"From the opening words about Bra Boy tattoos, this book had me gripped. It breathes colour, poetry and life into our understanding of the Bible in Australia. A vital, much-needed addition to our understanding of faith in our country."
- Julia Baird
- Koorong

`STUNNING, REFRESHING AND ORIGINAL' JULIA BAIRDKoby Abberton emerges like a shark on to the sand at Maroubra Beach. Tattooed from shoulder to shoulder, his body bares letters like teeth: `My brothers keeper'.In this surprising and revelatory history of the Bible in Australia, Meredith Lake gets under the skin of a text that's been read, wrestled with, preached and tattooed, and believed to be everything from a resented imposition to the very Word of God.The Bible in Australia explores how in the hands of Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, writers, artists and Indigenous Australians, the Bible has played a contested but defining role in this country.Read the review in Sight Magazine"Vivid story-telling and impossible to put down. Meredith Lake brings the Bible's chameleon-like presence in Australia's past alive. At last, this long-neglected yet profoundly important aspect of Australian history has found its true historian. A remarkable achievement." - Mark McKenna "From the opening words about Bra Boy tattoos, this book had me gripped. It breathes colour, poetry and life into our understanding of the Bible in Australia. A vital, much-needed addition to our understanding of faith in our country." - Julia Baird'The Bible in Australia is an unpretentious title for a remarkable book, and yet it is accurate enough. The Bible has been an ever-present aspect of life in Australia for 230 years, but no one has ever thought through its profound importance before.' - Alan Atkinson, Australian Book Review
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Meredith Lake

Meredith Lake is a historian of religion, society, and culture in Australia, with a PhD from the University of Sydney. She has published several books as well as articles on Christianity and colonialism, including a prize-winning piece in the Journal of Religious History.

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction: Under The Skinpart 1: Colonial Foundations1. In The Beginning?2. Indigenous Encounters3. God's Immigrants?part 2: The Great Age Of The Bible4. Spreading The Word5. Seeking The Good Society6. Re-evaluating The Textpart 3: Bible And Nation7. Advancing Australia Fair8. Politics And The Bible9. War And Its Aftermathpart 4: A Secular Australia?10. The Turning Point11. Re-imagining Australia12. The Bible In The New Millenniumbibliographynotesindex

Customer Reviews For "The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History"

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A must read for Australian Christians
4 stars By Margaret Makewell, Dec 12 2018
Anyone that wants to know more about how the Bible was introduced to Australia and the subsequent history that ensued in this land as a result; will enjoy this book. 
The book has been well researched, is well written and the font size ensures an easy read.
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the short time of Australia's history.
The author manages not to show her own bias until she gets to the final chapter, when she brings in a subject which she is obviously passionate about but at least 50% of her readers will have vehemently opposite views. Not only has it got nothing to do with the Bible in Australia but in my opinion does not warrant the heavy emphasis that she gives to it. This is the reason that I gave 4 and not 5 stars.
However, I would not let that stop you from enjoying the book because you may well agree with her. I'm not sorry I read it, just didn't like the ending, but maybe I'm showing my own bias :-)
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2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year
5 stars By 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year Judges, Aug 20 2018
Meredith Lake gives an arresting and comprehensive account of how preachers, suffragists, unionists, politicians, writers, painters, musicians, immigrants and Indigenous peoples have used the Bible to shape Australian history and culture. Scripture arrived tattooed on the bodies of convicts aboard the First Fleet and, in the hands of Indigenous Christians, has nourished movements for justice, for land rights, and for recognition and reconciliation. Lake shows that Australia has been neither a secular society nor a Christian nation. At every level the Bible has been held to be everything from a resented imposition to the word of God. However, even while Bible reading and biblical literacy decline, the Bible is an indelible part of our story. This is a history of national importance and an insight into Australian culture.

Akos Balogh, Bill Brown and Judith Nichols. 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year Judges
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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 507878
  • Product Code 9781742235714
  • ISBN 1742235719
  • EAN 9781742235714
  • Pages 336
  • Department Academic
  • Category Scripture
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Newsouth Books
  • Publication Date Apr 2018
  • Sales Rank #440
  • Dimensions 234 x 153 x 33 mm
  • Weight 0.590kg

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