Review of Wayne Hudson, Australian Religious Thought
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Religious thought is a category that covers a wide range of disciplines. Under this broad rubric, Wayne Hudson has packed massive learning into his survey of Australian contribution discussion of religion, from the perspectives of history, anthropology, literature, philosophy and theology (and much else besides). He responds to a frequently made claim that Australia’s intellectual traditions are secular rather than religious in character by demonstrating the vitality and complexity of its religious thought over the last two hundred years. Questioning simplistic definitions of secularity, he situates the concerns of academic philosophy, which has often positioned itself in an adversarial relationship to religious doctrine, within a broader framework of inquiry within a range of disciplinary traditions.
The challenge Hudson faces is to organize this vast tapestry. He adopts a thematic rather than a chronological approach. He begins with an historical overview of secular tendencies and...