God in the Landscape

Studies in the Literary History of Australian Protestant Dissent


Author: Kerrie Handasyde
Published 15 Jul 2021
Format Ebook (PDF)
ISBN 9781350181496
Imprint Bloomsbury Academic
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

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This book shows how creative writing gives voice to the drama and nuance of religious experience in a way that is rarely captured by sermons, reports, and the minutes of church meetings. The author explores the history of religious Dissent and Evangelicalism in Australia through a variety of literary responses to landscape, from both men and women, lay and ordained.

The book explores transnational themes, along with themes of migration and travel across the Australian continent. The author gives insight into the literature of Protestant Dissent, concerned as it is with travel, belonging, and the intersection of national and religious identity. Much of the writing is situated on the road: a soldier returning from the Great War, a child on a lone adventure, a night-time journey through urban slums; all of these are in some way dependent on the theme of “walking with Jesus” as the Holy Land travelogues make explicit.

God in the Landscape draws the links between landscape, literature, and spirituality with imagination and insight and is an important contribution to the historical study of religion and the environment.

This imaginative exploration of spirituality and place is a notable contribution to the history of Christianity in Australia.”
– David Hilliard, Research Fellow, Flinders University

Each of the Christian denominations of Australia possesses a distinct ethos, which is rarely evoked in standard accounts. By exploring how their members depict the phenomena of the landscape in various literary genres, Kerrie Handasyde has vividly revealed the character of a whole sector of Australian religion.”
– David Bebbington, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Stirling, UK

From Balcatta Gospel Hall, to the Liquor Shops of Melbourne, and from the Friends’ School Archive, to the sculpture of William Ricketts, this book is a historically rich study of little-recognized Australians ― the Protestant Dissenters of colonial Australia, Congregationalists, Salvationists, Churches of Christ, Quakers, and Methodists. It is the story of how men and women of Protestant faith, and of beliefs not known in Australia, learned to find ‘God in the landscape’.”
– Lyn McCredden, Professor of Literary Studies, Deakin University

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