chapter  3
40 Pages

Missions, Christianity and modernity

In the preceding chapter we considered some Aboriginal religious responses to invasion and colonization. No matter how innovative those cults may have been, they still remained firmly embedded in distinctly Aboriginal ceremonial forms; so much so that many ethnographers failed to appreciate the dynamic nature of the rituals they observed. This, however, was not the only type of religious transformation wrought by the arrival of outsiders. For many Aboriginal people, the old ways of expressing religious ideals became increasingly difficult to maintain. In this chapter, we consider two domains in which this was particularly true. The first was the mission institution. The second, which came into its own in a later era, was Aboriginal life in predominantly White towns and cities.