eCite Digital Repository

Now You See It: Now You Don't! Issues of Secularity and Secularisation in Publicly Funded Elementary Schools in the Australian Colonies during the Middle Third of the Nineteenth Century

Citation

Ely, RG, Now You See It: Now You Don't! Issues of Secularity and Secularisation in Publicly Funded Elementary Schools in the Australian Colonies during the Middle Third of the Nineteenth Century, Journal of Religious History, 38, (3) pp. 356-376. ISSN 0022-4227 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Author and Religious History Association

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12075

Abstract

This article opens and ends with reference to two interlinked studies: Charles Taylor's 2007 A Secular Age, and his 2011 Dilemmas and Connections: Selected Essays. These are often magnificent but sometimes flawed works. This article aims to explore the implications and ramifications of Taylor's failure to discuss, in either study, nineteenth-century provision for secular instruction by government elementary schools in Ireland, Great Britain, and the Australian colonies. What these did or did not mean should have been grist to Taylor's mill, especially since, in these places (and other English-speaking countries, such as the United States, Canada, and New Zealand) "secular instruction" provisions soon attracted energetic imputations of infidelity and atheism, as well as support. "Secular Instruction" Acts in two Australian colonies (Victoria in 1872, South Australia in 1851 and 1875) are here considered in detail, for these, especially the Victorian, were interpreted by some then and more recently as emphatically secular (in the sense of "Godless"). My argument is that this emphatic secularity, for emphatic it often was, mostly should not be read as "Godless" but as an often Protestant-inflected statutory expression - of the kind usefully defined - by reference to an ideal type - as "Civic Protestantism."

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical Studies
Research Field:Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Author:Ely, RG (Dr Richard Ely)
ID Code:98807
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Humanities
Deposited On:2015-03-03
Last Modified:2015-04-20
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page