On Aboriginal Religion
W. E. H. Stanner With Introductions by Francesca Merlan and L.R. Hiatt
Sydney University Press
Anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner is perhaps most well known for coining the phrase the 'great Australian silence', addressing the culture of denial or 'conscious forgetting' regarding the history Australia since European arrival.
This reprint of On Aboriginal Religion pays tribute to the ongoing relevance of Stanner?s work. His research into Aboriginal religion was first published as a series of articles in the journal Oceania between 1959 and 1963. In 1963 the articles were published as the collection in as Oceania Monograph 11, which was later reprinted as a facsimile edition with introductory sections by Francesca Merlan and Les Hiatt (1989).
As Stanner writes in his introduction to the 1963 collection, 'I thought I should take Aboriginal religion as significant in its own right and make it the primary subject of study, rather than study it, as was done so often in the past, mainly to discover the extent to which it expressed or reflected facts and preoccupations of the social order'. It is this dedication to recording the beliefs and observing the practice of Aboriginal religion that has made this monograph so important.
A free PDF version of the book On Aboriginal Religion by W. E. H. Stanner, with introductions by Francesca Merlan and L.R. Hiatt can be downloaded here.