Invoking Religion in Australian Politics

Anna Crabb has produced an article that examines whether there has been a rise in religion, in particular the Christian religion, being invoked by politicians here in Australia. From the site:


As religious engagement in the Australian population continues to decline, the apparent increased prominence of religion in Australian politics is puzzling. This article examines the characteristics of 2422 speeches given by prominent Australian federal politicians between 2000 and 2006 to assess whether religion has become more prominent in early twenty-first century Australian politics, and whether or not the explanations provided to explain the increase are compelling. It is argued that the framing of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent ‘war on terror’ as a religious conflict weakened adherence to Rawls’ (2005) liberal consensus (exclusion of religious beliefs from the public forum) and normalised the use of Christian terminology and ideas in Australian political discourse.

I haven’t read it all yet, it’s quite in-depth (being an Honours thesis), but it looks interesting. You can download the pdf of her thesis from this page.



Filed under politics, religion

4 responses to “Invoking Religion in Australian Politics

  1. seantheblogonaut

    Downloaded and on the electronic bookshelf as we speak.

  2. seantheblogonaut

    Do you know if there is a free text to speech service so I can listen rather than read it 🙂

  3. Tim

    Free speech on religion has been banned in Victoria and the law has been used to stop Catholics criticising Islam in the Catch the Fire Ministry case.

    Anna, what do you think of Senator Conroy’s censorship agenda and the new Christian right Labor making an Orwellian Christian censorship nightmare like the old Spanish Inquisition, a flash of ignorance from the past. I also monitor the media for Christian comments from politicians and I don’t have to keep a Thesis examiner happy. Some of these Christians have real political power like Senator Conroy and he is imposing his censorship ideals on all of us, this is the opposite of a secular non religious government I always hoped that we had.

    Just 3% of primary school time in Australia is given over to science education, Brendan Nelson when Minister said he had no problem with intelligent design being taught in science classes. What does this mean for education in Australia when politicians are kneeling before a God made in their own image.

    What of Professor Gary Bouma at Monash saying religion should be taught in all areas of study at Monash. Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859, why are Australian politicians become so ignorant so long after a few facts have been discovered? I want an intelligent local member to represent me.

    I can’t stand the ignorance of religion, but when out politicians profess to be religious, we have dictators in power.

    We need better education not more narrow minded politicians like Rudd, Steven Conroy or Brendan Nelson.

    Thanks Anna I will read your Thesis with great interest. My own writing on this matter is more extreme, perhaps I will be banned under the new Christian censorship filtering Conroy is implementing and we will all go back to worshipping idols.

    Tim Anderson

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