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Anzac Theology and Women Poets Under the Southern Cross

Handasyde, Kerrie (2017) Anzac Theology and Women Poets Under the Southern Cross. Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, 49 (1). pp. 17-30. ISSN 0588-3237


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During the Great War Australians lived within an emerging story of the Southern Cross. Faced with the reality of war, the churches hoped that the atonement story of innocent sacrifice and divine reconciliation could become Australia’s story too. They encouraged enlistment with the thought that this new nation might redeem a sinful past through war for God, King and Empire. They dreamt that a nation built under a heavenly cross might fulfil the Christian destiny promised in its skies. These themes and more are explored in the poetry of two Congregationalist women who published prolifically in the church and the mainline press throughout the Great War and in the years that followed. Their poems were patriotic and pastoral, addressing both the landscape of home and the suffering of the women who remained there while men were at war. They wrote of sons and soldiers sacrificed, memorialising them as innocents through a mother’s memory of boyhood. They brought images of suffering soldiers into proximity with Christ’s cross, and allowed poetic allusion to make their sons sacred in death. Finally, they sought and found reconciliation between the bereaved and their sacralised soldiers in heaven, but under the Southern Cross.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Anzac, atonement, poetry, women's history, Australian history, Congregational Church
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)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: Pilgrim Theological College
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 01:03
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 04:14
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2854

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