Aboriginal Spirituality: Past, Present, Future / Martung Upah: Black and White Australians Seeking Partnership

Article excerpt

Aboriginal Spirituality: Past, Present, Future.

Edited by Anne Pattel-Gray. Melbourne: HarperCollinsReligious, 1996. Pp. xiii, 127. No price given.

Martung Upah: Black and White Australians Seeking Partnership. Edited by Anne Pattel-Gray. Melbourne: HarperCollinsReligious, 1996. Pp. 340. No price given.

Much has been written about the indigenous people of Australia. Only in recent times, however, have works been authored by indigenous people themselves. These two books represent the cutting edge of Aboriginal religious scholarship. Both edited by Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray, founding executive secretary of the Aboriginal and Islander Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia, they present the reader with a broad spectrum of traditional Aboriginal spirituality; the impact of colonization, missionization, and modernity; and contemporary developments in theology, politics, education, and many other areas.

The first book, Aboriginal Spirituality, is divided into two major sections. Almost all the papers contained in part I were first presented in relation to Aboriginal Spirituality: Past, Present, Future-First National Conference on Aboriginal Spirituality and Perceptions of Christianity, which was held in Victor Harbour, South Australia, in August 1990, sponsored by the University of Sydney's Department of Religious Studies (now the School of Studies in Religion). Its chapters include "Concepts of Land and Spirituality," by traditional northeast Arnhem Land leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu; "That Christ Fella," by renowned activist and author Kevin Gilbert; and "Guidelines for SoCalled Western Civilization and Western Christianity," by Charles Harris. The papers contained in part 2 represent just some of the work that has been done on this topic beyond the 1990 national conference and includes chapters such as "The Value of Aboriginal Culture," by Graham A. Paulson; "Mungulk Dhalatj-a Calm Wisdom," by husband-and-wife team Djungadjunga and Dhanggal Yunupingu; and "Aboriginal Myths and Customs: Matrix for Gospel Preaching," by popular Lutheran pastor George Rosendale. …