chapter  6
‘Just another “queer sect” from over the Pacific’
Americanism and anti-Americanism
WithGlen O’Brien
Pages 23

This chapter considers the long-standing anti-Americanism in Australian history and culture as well as more positive relations between the two countries. The so-called Turning Point hypothesis that sees Australia moving away from an orientation to Great Britain toward the United States after the Second World War is considered. Among the soldiers stationed in Australia were members of the American Holiness churches, the ‘sanctified soldier boys.’ This chapter makes an important contribution to a factor rarely touched upon in the existing literature – the religion of the American G.I. in Australia. Anti-American sentiment survived at least into the 1970s as is clear from the experience of members of the Church of God (Anderson) and the Church of God (Cleveland), who entered the Australian scene in 1960 and 1973 respectively. The question of whether the charge of ‘American imperialism’ is a valid one in the Australian historical context is considered. Yuri Lotman’s model of cultural importation is used as a way of understanding the Wesleyan-Holiness adaptation to the Australian context. It is concluded that in spite of their important American connections, the Wesleyan-Holiness churches should not be seen as instances of American religious imperialism but rather as instances of the production of cross-cultural and internationalist modernisation.