to THE AUSTRALIAN
Civil Liberties Australia argues that Australia is not a Christian country, but Kevin Donnelly disagrees (‘We are a Christian nation’, 15/6). Each party describes Australia in the way it wishes to see it; but the truth is that we look a bit like the ‘muddle’ that E. M. Forster saw India as being a century ago and later described in ‘A Passage to India’.
What kind of nation should we aim to be? My answer is that we should seek to be a people who are collectively aware of the numinous and the mysterious. That is where we should primarily locate the sacred, not in theology or past works of art or acts of charity (as Donnelly does).
He wants to resuscitate a mode of Christianity that appears to be in slow terminal decline. Liberty Australia thinks to dance on its grave. Neither approach will lead to a fruitful tomorrow. Only a fresh visioning of the ‘worlds beyond’ will be sufficient.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic