A Poetics of Sacred and Secular in Australia


  • Lyn McCredden Deakin University


poetry, sacred, secular, Indigenou, Bruce Dawe, Les Murray, Lionel Fogarty, Judith Beveridge,


This essay examines the claims to secularity of contemporary Australia, arguing that in the context of Indigenous Australians' declaration, in the document 'Uluru: Statement from the Heart', and of many poetic expressions, we must more fully explore the category of the sacred. Further, the essay argues that in contemporary Australia, sacred and secular domains need to be mutually engaged. The essay offers the idea of the poetic sacred - where secular (political, earthed, civic) and sacred (numinous, transcendent, meaning-making) possibiliites can be seen in dialogue. 'Uluru: Statement from the Heart', as well as the poetry of Bruce Dawe, Les Murray, Lionel Fogarty and Judith Beveridge are examined, as exemplars of the poetic sacred.

Author Biography

Lyn McCredden, Deakin University

Lyn Mc Credden teaches and researches at Deakin University, Australia. She has developed an interdisciplinary field of Literary Studies and Religious Studies, Literature and the Sacred.


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