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Title: Religious Life
Contributor(s): Clark, Jennifer Rose (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: That part of Australia now known as New England was a spiritual place long before the white colonists arrived. The Bundjalung, Gumbaynggir, Dunghutti, Aniwan, Yugambal and Gamilaraay people knew the stories that marked the places and their feet had pounded the Bora rings deep into the earth (see Chapter 8). When the settlers came with their sheep, their history and their plans for the future, they marked their claims by building, for themselves and for God. Their spiritual language was spoken in fine churches, imposing cathedrals, school chapels and on the properties where they worked. Their hands toiled on the land, their minds pondered politics and prices, but on Sunday New England hearts were given over to God, most likely an Anglican, Roman Catholic or Presbyterian God. As time passed, the shape and needs of the communities changed. The places built for God seemed less important for worship and more important as heritage. Some churches closed down altogether and, instead of the swelling organ and the old hymns, the buildings echoed with the songs of the theatre or the chatter of preschool children. Religions other than Christianity grew in number and diversity. In the same way, wind and rain filled in the Bora rings and the Aboriginal people were forced to forget many of the stories that marked their places.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: High Lean Country: Land, people and memory in New England, p. 184-195
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Place of Publication: Crows Nest, Sydney
ISBN: 9781741750867
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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