How did the concept of the secular state emerge and evolve in Australia and how has it impacted on its institutions? This is the most comprehensive study to date on the relationship between religion and the state in Australian history, focusing on the meaning of political secularity in a society that was from the beginning marked by a high degree of religious plurality.
This book tracks the rise and fall of the established Church of England, the transition to plural establishments, the struggle for a public Christian-secular education system, and the eventual separation of church and state throughout the colonies. The study is unique in that it does not restrict its concern with religion to the churches but also examines how religious concepts and ideals infused apparently secular political and social thought and movements making the case that much Australian thought and institution building has had a sacral-secular quality. Social welfare reform, nationalism, and emerging conceptions of citizenship and civilization were heavily influenced by religious ideals, rendering problematic traditional linear narratives of secularisation as the decline of religion. Finally the book considers present day pluralist Australia and new understandings of state secularity in light of massive social changes over recent generations.
The Secular over Time
A Christian Secular State?
The Structure of the Argument
PART I FROM ANGLICAN ESTABLISHMENT TO LIBERAL SEPARATIONISM
1 Foundations: Church and State in Ancien Régime Britain
From Toleration to Pluralism
Religion, Enlightenment, and Utility
2 The Brief Rise and Fall of the Australian Colonial Established Church
Governor Macquarie and Religion
Bishop Broughton in Defence of the Ancien Régime
The Seeds of Pluralism
3 The Coming of Plural Establishment
Richard Bourke and the Church Acts
The Schools Question—Education and the State
Resistance to Plural Establishment—The Old Order Fights Back
The Pluralist Settlement
Pluralism beyond Christianity
PART II FORGING THE SECULAR
4 The Separation of Church and State
The Victory for Voluntaryism in South Australia
Hyper-Protestant and Broad Church Approaches to the Church-State Question in NSW: Lang and Woolley
Abolition of State Aid in NSW and Tasmania
A Secular State in Victoria?
5 Education, Religion, and Citizenship
Secular Architects: Lowe, Rusden, Wilkins, and Higinbotham
Disbelief in the Colonies
Religion and the Secular Education Acts
6 A Secular Constitution? The Federation Debates
The Recognition Clause
State Debates on a Recognition Clause
The Religious Freedom Clause
PART III MIGRATIONS OF THE HOLY: ON THE SACRED ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL LIFE
7 The Moral Economy of the Early Australian Commonwealth
Religion, Socialism, and Factory Legislation
The Critique of Contract and the Living Wage—Neo-medievalism or Advanced Liberalism?
The Moral Commonwealth—Secular or Sacred?
8 Civil Religion: From Civic Protestantism to the Anzac Tradition
Civic Protestantism and the Theology of Empire
Nation, Empire and the Sacred: From Empire Day to Anzac Day
9 Citizenship, the Nation, and Religion
Idealism, the Broad Church, and the Moral Foundations of Citizenship
Citizenship, Gender and the Public Sphere: The Role of Protestant Women
Sacral-Secular Citizenship and the Social Order between the Wars
PART IV THE SHIFTING TERRAIN OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR: FROM THE MID-TWENTIETH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT
10 Christian Australia: Resurgence and Retreat
Defending ‘Christian Civilisation’: The Second World War and the 1950s Religious Renewal
Secularism, Conflict and the ‘Servile State’: John Anderson and his Influence
Catholics, Secularism and the ‘Free Society’
The Return of State Aid
11 Culture, Gender, Sexuality: Dechristianising the Secular?
The Coming of the Cultural Revolution: Feminism and Gay Liberation
Royal Commission on Human Relationships 1974-77
Culture and Identity
The Howard Years
Sectarianism in a Secular Age: The Culture Wars
Conclusion: Beyond the Secular-Religion Divide