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Harvest Thanksgiving and the Photography of Grace

Handasyde, Kerrie (2015) Harvest Thanksgiving and the Photography of Grace. Australian Journal of Liturgy, 14 (4). pp. 173-184. ISSN 1030-617X

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    Harvest Thanksgiving rests at the junction of liturgy, nature and memory. From the late-nineteenth century it was a major event on Nonconformist church calendars, drawing crowds well beyond regular attendance. Yet it was the Nonconformist churches’ uneasy relationship with icons, visual display and imagery of all sorts that made the spectacular displays of fruit and vegetables associated with Harvest Thanksgiving so memorable, so marvellously out of the ordinary. Photographs were taken and treasured and these offer a glimpse into a rich and peculiar world of food and display that is at once consonant and disconsonant with Nonconformity’s professed and assumed theological stances on the use of imagery. In this time of celebration and thanksgiving, of spectacle and transformation, how were Nonconformist prohibitions on display, materiality and excess so extravagantly overcome? How was the divide between the sacred and profane so colourfully rearranged? This article explores the history of Harvest Thanksgiving in Nonconformist churches in Australia through the medium of photography. Examining what the people sought to preserve on film, it seeks to understand what Harvest Thanksgiving meant in the faith lives of the people.

    Item Type: Published Articles
    Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
    Keywords (separated by commas): harvest, thanksgiving, photography, Nonconformity, Australia, history, liturgy, grace
    Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
    22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
    22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
    22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
    Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
    Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
    Subject Area(s): C - Church History
    A - Humanities, general
    D - Liturgy
    D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
    C - Systematic Theology
    Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
    Depositing User: Ms Kerrie Handasyde
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 10:33
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 10:33
    URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1897

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