Religion and Imperialism in Australia from Colony to Nation
Reseracher: Associate Professor Hilary M. Carey
Australian Research Council – Discovery Project - $115,000
This project aims to generate an innovative religious history of Australia which takes into account new themes in imperial history and charts the ways in which religion shaped the formation of Australian identity from colony to nation within the global embrace of the British Empire. It will examine the ways in which Australia's place in a wider empire is reflected in the establishment of settler religions, missions to Aboriginal peoples, and throughout the wider secular society. Making deep use of archives from the age of British imperialism, it will lead to new understandings of the religious landscape of Australian colonial history.
National and Community Benefit
In international contexts, imperialism and religion have been recognised as two of the most powerful forces for social cohesion, identity, transformation and conflict. The preliminary work undertaken for this project indicates that Australia has not been immune from these significant historical forces. This project will be of national benefit in providing insight into the historical pattern of imperialism on the formation of religious and cultural values. By contributing to the education of the scholarly and general public on religious issues, this project seeks to contribute to the quality of public debate and policy analysis in this key emerging field of national and international significance.
Progress on the Grant
This project aimed to generate an innovative religious history of Australia which takes into account new themes in imperial history and charts the ways in which religion shaped the formation of Australian identity from colony to nation within the global embrace of the British Empire. It examined the ways in which Australia’s place in a wider empire is reflected in the establishment of settler religions. Making deep use of archives from the age of British imperialism, it will lead to new understandings of the religious landscape of Australian colonial history.
The project proceeded as planned in 2005-6 although the Chief Investigator took up an appointment as Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin from 2005-6. In July 2006, Prof. Carey organised a major international conference in Dublin with presentations from over 50 speakers from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, the UK, France and the United States on the theme of this research project, religion and imperialism. In March 2007, the Journal of Religious History published the proceedings of the conference sessions on religion, Ireland, migration and memory held in Sydney in July 2005. In the second half of 2007 and the first half of 2008 Carey took teaching relief and has been writing the monograph which is the major outcome of this project. She also completing the publication of the two collections of articles arising from the Dublin conference held in July 2006 and submitted them to the publishers. In the second half of 2007, Carey travelled to the UK and presented conference papers on the project to the British World conference in Bristol. She visited archives in London, Dublin and Cambridge and during two months in Cambridge completed further research and writing. At the time of writing this report (Jan. 2007) she has more than half the draft completed of the monograph which is the major outcome of this book. She also wrote the introduction for the collection of articles based on the 2006 Dublin conference she organised on the theme Empires of Religion. This has now been submitted to Palgrave Macmillan and is contracted to appear in 2008. She also wrote a major review article for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Australian Religion, edited by James Jupp.
Over the duration of the project (2005-2008), I have presented fifteen conference and research papers. The publication outcomes include two edited collections, one currently accepted by Palgrave Macmillan and including a major introduction; the second currently submitted as a special edition of the Journal of Religious History. Both these collections arose from the international conference I organized in Dublin in 2006. In addition, I have published three articles directly relevant to the project as well as two major survey chapters which are in press. I have written 115,0,000 words of the sole-authored monograph which will be the major outcome of the project. I intend to have this ready for submission to a publisher such as Palgrave Macmillan (who have expressed interest in the project) by the end of 2008.
Forthcoming in 2008
- Empires of Religion, ed. Hilary M. Carey. London: Palgrave, 2008 (forthcoming)
- “Religion.” In Cambridge Dictionary of Australian Religion, ed. James Jupp. Cambridge.” Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
- “Religion.” In Sydney Journal, forthcoming
- “Religion and the “Evil Empire.” Journal of Religious History 32 (1998): forthcoming
- David A. Roberts and Hilary M. Carey, “Beong! Beong! (more! more!)”: John Harper and the Wesleyan Mission to the Australian Aborigines. In Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, forthcoming
- "Religion and Identity." In Australia's Empire. Oxford Companion to the British Empire, edited by Deryck M. Schreuder and Stuart Ward, 186-210. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 186-210
- "The Vanished Kingdoms of Patrick O'Farrell: Religion, Memory and Migration in Religious History." Journal of Religious History 31, no. 1 (2007): 40-58
- “Introduction: Remembering the Religious History of A.E. Cahill (1933-2004) and Patrick O’Farrell (1933-2003).” Journal of Religious History 31.1 (2007): 1-17.
- “The PM came to Dublin.” Crossings” Bulletin of the International Australian Studies Association 13.1 (April 2008): 2-4.
Conference papers, 2005-2008
- “Awaba: A Gateway to Indigenous history and communication on the web in Australia.” Invited Paper for Research Seminar in Humanities Computing, King’s College London, 24 Feb 2005. [Discussion of Awaba Gateway available online]
- “Religion and Empire.” Invited Paper for 17 March 2005. History of Religion seminar, University of Birmingham, UK. [Forthcoming 4]
- “Religion and Memory in the Empire of the Mind.” Panel organiser for 32 Commission Internationale d’Histoire ecclésiastique comparée, International Congress of the Historical Sciences, Sydney, 7 July 2005. [Published as 1]
- “Australia, Britain, Religion and Empire.” Paper for The Australian Diaspora in Britain since 1901: An Exploration Workshop, Australia House, London, 29 Sept. 2005. [Chapter of monograph]
- “Language.” Invited Paper for Interdisciplinary Seminar Program. Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin, 26 Oct. 2005.