Eaglehawk and Crow: Aboriginal knowledges, imperial networks and the evolution of religion

Eaglehawk and Crow: Aboriginal knowledges, imperial networks and the evolution of religion
Monday 15 February 2021

Deputy Director Laura Rademaker recently published this article in Journal of Colonialism and Colonial history.  In ‘Eaglehawk and Crow: Aboriginal knowledges, imperial networks and the evolution of religion,’ she unravels scholarly and religious imperial networks to understand the interdependency between religious ideas, ethnography and processes of colonisation. She argues that knowledge of Indigenous people produced by colonial ethnographers functioned to reassure Protestants around the empire of the primacy of their faith in an imagined deep history of the evolution of religion. Colonised and especially Australian Aboriginal people, therefore, were central to shaping imperial understandings of religion. Indigenous knowledges, accessed through religious institutions and networks around the empire, provided the ethnographic data through which biblical scholars and anthropologists in imperial metropoles devised new theories of what religion is. Such ideas, in turn, recirculated to religious networks as the intellectual underpinnings of emerging programs of assimilation for Indigenous people.

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