Review of Religious Poetry in Australia: Reception and Application of Theological and Philosophical Texts by Marion Spies

Every now and again a work of scholarship appears that startles the academic community by virtue of a combination of its innovative method, the sheer compass of its field, and tl1e persuasiveness of its findings. This is just such a work. Coming from the school of Professor Horst Priessnitz in Wuppertal, Dr Marion Spies has completed the most comprehensive study of Australian religious poetry ever undertaken. She has collected, investigated and classified over 8,000 poems from some 850 authors, spanning the period 1850 to 1999. Her aim has been to determine to what extent Australian writers were and are inspired by religious/philosophical themes and ideas, an exercise on which, as she points out, high profile Australian literary pundits would not have wasted their time. According to these and also to leading historians of Australian national identity, religion has played a minimal role in shaping the distinctive character of Australians.

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Published 1 May 2001 in Volume 20 No. 1. Subjects: Australian poetry, Religion.

Cite as: Moses, John A.. ‘Review of Religious Poetry in Australia: Reception and Application of Theological and Philosophical Texts by Marion Spies.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 20, no. 1, 2001. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.902a800737.