Reading the Bible in Australia

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Reading the Bible in Australia invites reflection about how the Bible matters to Australia. Contributorsprobe intersections between vital debates about Australian identity (who we have been, are, and aspire to become) and the Bible, bringing a range of perspectives to critical themes—indigeneity, colonization, and migration; landscape, biodiversity, and climate; gender and marginality; economics, ideology, and rhetoric. Each chapter explores the past and present influence of a biblical text or theme. Some offer fresh contextually and ethically informed readings. All interrogate the wider outcomes of reading the Bible in different ways. Given the tragic consequences of how it has been used historically, and sometimes still is, some Australians would exclude the Bible and its interpreters from public debate. Yet, as Meredith Lake’s The Bible in Australia demonstrates, “a degree of biblical literacy—along with critical skill in evaluating how the Bible has been taken up and interpreted in our history—can only help Australians grapple well with the choices Australia faces.” Love it or hate it, there is no getting around the reality that the Bible, and how it is read, still matters.