My previous posts on this are, inevitably, schematic — and so is this one. I still hold that Australia is by no means a Christian country in the sense that there is any established religion, and it remains true that from its foundation in 1901 and its previous histories as separate colonies Australia has as much been a product of the Enlightenment and thus to a degree of secularism as it has been a product of Christianity. But its histories have given it a very different tenor to either Europe (France, for example) or the United States. No Pilgrim Fathers here, nor any French Revolution tradition — at least not directly, in the latter case.
There is much of relevance to this theme in James Franklin’s extremely entertaining history of philosophy in Australia (especially in Sydney, as some reviewers have complained) — Corrupting the Youth: a history of philosophy in Australia (Macleay Press 2004). More from that source later, but take as an example the wording of the 1850 University of Sydney Act.
Click to enlarge.
Mind you, that the reference to religion is very broad indeed has been borne out by subsequent history, some of it well told by James Franklin.
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