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The Oxford Book of Australian Religious Verse

Edited By Kevin Hart


What is the meaning of life?

In their search for God, Australian poets have brooded on this question for generations. This wide-ranging anthology shows the many ways in which spirituality touches our lives. Australia’s religious imagination is revealed to be both rich and strange, encompassing Aboriginal chants and Christian longings, Jewish midrashim and Taoist meditations. Credos and prayers are to be found aplenty, yet moments of doubt and disbelief are not ignored.

As Kevin Hart says in his introductory essay, atheism can be a powerful religious phenomenon. Here then is a wealth of Australian religious poetry, surreal and sober, mystical and sceptical, including the poets you already know and some new names. Among the poets included are Vincent Buckley, David Campbell, Rosemary Dobson, Lesbia Harford, Robert Harris, Gwen Harwood, James McAuley, John Shaw Neilson, Peter Porter and Judith Wright. Not exclusively Christian in its orientation, this is a collection of writing that celebrates and questions. With its indices of names and themes, it is a valuable reference work for clergy, liturgists, and civil celebrants. At the same time, it is a book for personal meditation and reflection.

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