Get access

Christianity in Aboriginal Australia revisited



Despite the substantial Aboriginalist literature on Christianity, Aboriginal Australia has been largely peripheral to the emerging subfield ‘the anthropology of Christianity.’ In the introduction to this collection of essays, we argue that the reasons for its exclusion include Christianity’s late arrival, its limited fortune in the colonial encounter, and its continued marginal role in organising the values of Aboriginal life. However, it is precisely because of the rather unremarkable history of conversion in Aboriginal Australia that our volume can inform current debates in the general anthropological literature on Christianity. As the essays concentrate on Protestant forms of Christianity in remote Australia, we address the ways in which Aboriginal converts experience what are often argued to be the common features of modern Protestantism, namely, transcendence, rupture and belief.